In March 2016, Gartner predicted that 45 percent of enterprises would adopt Internet of Things technology by the end of the year. While it’s too early to know if that forecast came true, it’s safe to say that organizations of every size are considering the potential value—and challenges—of joining the IoT revolution. Several issues need to be considered before settling on a plan to accelerate IoT adoption among enterprises. Taking the time to develop a comprehensive plan can help keep common difficulties like security breaches and technical problems to a minimum.
Choosing the right Internet of Things platform
With so many platforms available, enterprises face a challenge when attempting to choose the right one. Open source software, turnkey Internet of Things platforms and cloud solutions from major providers are all in the mix, and each system has its pros and cons. The increasing availability of end-to-end managed cloud platforms presents a clear advantage to enterprises wanting to adopt IoT quickly and securely. When considering various options, enterprise leaders should consider whether the platform offers across-the-board device management, supports a range of protocols, is easy to integrate with edge devices and offers security at every layer.
Identifying scalable models
Enterprises must also consider whether their proposed IoT model is scalable. Will it be easy to build upon and replicate in new areas as the network of connected devices expands? Decision-makers should consider risks, benefits and possible outcomes of various IoT adoption models for their organizations. While the vertical platform model offers some advantages, the horizontal IoT platform encompasses every level, from endpoint to network, creating a secure IoT ecosystem that’s easier to scale.
Aligning IT with IoT
To make the most of IoT adoption among enterprises, leaders should consider how best to incorporate emerging IoT architecture with existing IT framework. First, they must decide which business processes would benefit most from the addition of IoT technology—for example, supply chain, marketing, sales, and inventory tracking. Then, enterprise leaders can assemble the needed infrastructure to start applying IoT technology to those areas, ensuring that data collection is secure, efficient and helpful. Then, collected data can be interpreted using analytics, helping to drive decision-making as the enterprise moves forward.
Interoperability between devices and software is vital to the success of any enterprise’s IoT adoption strategy. Seamless integration of devices that allows them to “talk” to each other and the network is needed. Ideally, every connected thing within the network should be able to communicate, freely sharing information despite different operating systems and device types. Since it increases operations efficiency across the board, such streamlining offers cost-savings benefits to enterprises. By using a horizontal platform approach, interoperability is achievable and within reach—all while preserving a secure IoT ecosystem.