According to IoT statistics, there will be 25 billion connected devices by 2021. Global IoT market is expected to surpass the $1.5 trillion mark by 2025. Gartner predicts that there would be four internet connected devices for every human being on the planet. As the number of IoT devices grow so does the cybersecurity risk attached to it. Gartner predicts that more than a quarter of all cybersecurity attacks will be IoT based by 2025.
Despite this, large scale IoT deployments in enterprise rarely get the attention it deserves. In fact, most businesses do not even know where to start and find it difficult to plan for large scale IoT deployments. They don’t even know how to integrate IoT technology, so they work alongside their existing infrastructure which includes cheap dedicated servers and other legacy systems. If your organization is facing similar problems, then this article is for you.
In this article, you will learn about five things you need to consider when deploying IoT solutions in large scale enterprises.
Pillars of IoT Project
Before we discuss things, you need to consider, it is important to understand the key components that can play an important role in success and failure of any IoT project. There are five key pillars of the IoT project.
Large scale IoT deployment has its own share of challenges. These challenges might vary from industry to industry. For instance, retail, manufacturing, and hospitality industries put worker safety while putting more emphasis on remote payments. It is important to overcome these challenges.
Most enterprises who are already using IoT might have a huge network consisting of hundreds or even thousands of IoT devices. Each of these IoT devices might serve different purposes and use different technologies. In fact, most might even have different needs. This increases the scope of IoT deployment tremendously and makes IoT deployment more complex.
To keep IoT deployments on track, it is important for businesses to avoid vendor lock ins. Most IoT vendors will try to lock in their customers into their own ecosystem by offering them incentives but you should avoid those lure and think about issues you might encounter due to vendor lock ins in years to come. Never invest your money on solutions that only work with one vendor, one platform or one technology. Find a solution that is compatible and interoperable.
2. Connectivity Standard
Another thing most businesses tend to ignore is connectivity. Ensure that the IoT devices you are investing in is compatible with the connectivity standard you are using. You don’t want to end up with devices that support a connectivity standard which is not available or offer poor connectivity in regions these devices operate in. Choose your connectivity standards wisely as it might impact how your IoT devices operate in different conditions.
Since IoT devices are not that powerful or have large batteries fitted into them, businesses are better off choosing a connectivity standard which not only consumes less battery but does not demand too many resources either. Make sure that IoT devices are accessible everywhere and last for days or even weeks on a single charge so you do not have to charge them frequently.
Most IoT providers take a small sample of IoT devices to evaluate whether a company is really interested in large scale, enterprise wide IoT deployment or not. With a sense of security and overconfidence after the first phase of sampling, IoT deployment projects struggle to scale. Everything from onboarding, configuring, installing security patches, and performing mountainous tasks is managed manually. This can become a pain in the neck especially if there are hundreds and thousands of IoT devices connecting to your network. Invest in an IoT solution that enables you to scale according to your dynamic business needs.
4. Holistic Data View
IoT devices collect, processes and share tons of data on a regular basis. Unfortunately, most of them are still useless especially if it is unstructured. In order to make sense out of that data, businesses will have to process it in such a way that it unearths useful insights.
Another big problem is that businesses large scale IoT deployments are broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks for ease of management but these silos are disconnected Due to this, data in the system stays in the system even if it could prove to be useful for other purposes and use cases.
Think of IoT deployments as kids. The younger they are the fewer problems they create and as they grow older, they start to create more problems. You are more likely to lose control of devices especially if there are thousands of them around. Choose an IoT platform which is flexible enough to accommodate different solutions and flexibility to adapt to different changes. Buy an IoT solution which adjusts according to your business rather than being the other way around.
Let us sum it all up. Large scale IoT deployment projects demand a lot of careful planning and thought. Never get your company into a vendor lock in mess because it would be much harder for you to get out of it and might have long term consequences for your business. It is important to understand how things change and adapt according to changing requirements.
IoT solutions need to be flexible and scalable while offering interoperability with other platforms, technologies, and vendors. Investing in a vendor specific IoT solution that only works with a single platform, technology or vendor is a recipe of failure. You might not get the freedom with cross platform compatible IoT solutions but what is even worse is that you will be tied into the ecosystem which is a tough hole to get out of. Take a holistic view of your data to identify problems that might have slipped under the radar.
How do you implement IoT solutions in large scale enterprises? Let us know in the comments section below.