IoT is More than Adding Sensors to Gather Data

by November 23, 2015 0 comments

Considering all the noise surrounding IoT, one wonders whether it’s all just hype or can organizations actually reap benefits from it. Where’s the RoI in implementing IoT based solutions? Unless you have a clear business case, it’s impossible to quantify the RoI from IoT. Do you want to use IoT to monitor industrial assets that are spread across a wide geography so that you save the cost of sending service technicians on the field? Or does your CMO want to monitor data feeds from mobiles and IoT devices to gain market insights? Or do you want to monitor the performance of your fleet of vehicles to plan better routes, do preventive maintenance, etc.?

When you define a clear business case, you get a clear idea of how much cost you can expect to save or revenue to earn. With this in place, you can determine how much it would cost to deploy an IoT solution, and whether it would make business sense or not.

So deploying IoT is not about using devices with sensors to capture all sorts of information, and then analyze it to take important decisions. That’s how everyone generalizes it, but it’s much more complex than that.

The basic element of IoT–sensors, can be very costly. Though their prices are dropping, they can still cost a bomb, especially because you have to take into account the communication channel they’ll use to send out the data, whether they can be integrated with your existing equipment, or do you have to purchase new equipment. Security is also a key criteria while choosing sensors, and you can read stories like the one about the spamming fridge if you are not convinced about the need for sensor security.

Next comes the integration of sensor data with your business application. What sort of integration effort is required to do this? What SDKs are available for doing the integration, do you have the necessary in-house skills for the job? If not, how much would it cost to outsource?

If you’re using sensors over a wide geography, then which communication channel would they use to send out data? Will it be over WiFi or a telecom network? Where will this data be gathered? Do you need to setup a cloud based server to first collect this data?

Once you’ve gathered this data, what parameters do you need to analyze? Which analytics solution will be a good fit here? Do you need a NoSQL kind of database to gather all sensor data and give you an output, or can the data be directly fed into your existing business application? If it’s NoSQL, then you’ll have to invest in resources who understand how to deal with big data.

This is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to deploying IoT. After reading all this, if you feel that IoT can wait, then think again because somebody will do it before you, and gain a competitive edge. If you haven’t started thinking about leveraging IoT, then the time to do that is now.

Here are some other articles you can refer to on the road ahead for IoT:

5 Key Industries that are Bullish on IoT

Innovative IoT Startups

How ‘IoTfy’ Plans to Build an Ecosystem for IoT Device Makers

2015: The Year of Cloud & IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) gains momentum among businesses

How IoT is Going to Impact our Lives

How Indian Government can secure the smart cities of the future

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