IoT capability for IT organizations

The hype is soon over. Start generating value.

Turning proprietary and incompatible IoT technology into
one IoT infrastructure that generates business value

It’s time for IoT to leave hype and Proof-of-Concepts behind and become an integrated part of day-to-day IT operations.

You need a few things to develop your IoT capability (well, you need many more, but you stand and fall with these):

 
horizontal architecture by sensative.hero

The right architecture is horizontal

Services are most often vertical but the architecture must be horizontal

For the successful implementation of IoT applications, enterprises need to integrate various IoT connected products with right IoT platforms. Lack of proper integration could lead to loss of functionality and efficiency making it impossible to deliver the envisioned value to the customers.

In 2016 Research vice president at Gartner, Benoit Lheureux, said “Half the cost of implementing IoT solutions will be spent integrating various IoT components with each other and back-end systems. It is vital to understand integration is a crucial IoT competency.” Many failed IoT projects have proved him right. 

McKinsey agrees: “40% to 60% of the total values lies on our ability to achieve interoperability between different IoT systems“. With numerous vendors, OEMs, and service providers, it becomes really difficult to maintain interoperability between different IoT systems.

The major challenge here are too many IoT endpoints, standards and incompatible vendors that need to be connected to aggregate the sensor data and transmit it to an IoT platform. Only with deep integration, companies can mine the data to generate insight and to predict the outcomes.

A horizontal integration platform enables any verticals and the sharing of resources and data between verticals, at a considerably lower cost. This is the foundation for future-proof operations.

Integration of new IoT systems with existing systems

Organizations have been developing enterprise applications for years, where the typical enterprise architecture consists of (fairly) homogeneous endpoints that communicate directly with servers behind firewalls on-premises or in the cloud over standard TCP/IP communications protocols. But, when it comes to IoT you must manage many different endpoint types, that vary in their compute power, battery life, and support of communications protocols.

Next challenge is how to collect and manage the data generated by these endpoints. IoT devices generate data at volumes that many companies are not yet well equipped to deal with, so they must evaluate the capabilities of their existing infrastructure in the areas of high-scale data ingestion, storage, and analytics. A related challenge is figuring out where data will be collected and processed — on premises or in the cloud, or both. Organizations must also determine how they will integrate IoT data with other key systems. Combining IoT data with existing data can significantly enhance services and applications.

IT departments must find innovative ways to integrate existing systems with newer deployments to break the silos and create a centralized solution. Alleviating this challenge is essential to realizing the vision of digital transformation and increasing the ROI from IoT deployments. Very rarely does an organization have the ability (or willingness) to replace legacy systems when developing their IoT applications. 

To address this challenge, Sensative’s Yggio has a horizontal architecture that enables organizations to integrate all the new IoT with the systems they currently have deployed, through a single standardized API.

Yggio is the IoT platform that fits into your environment

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Manage the complexities of IoT

IoT is not business as usual for IT

IoT is much more than MQTT

IoT is growing in many different directions, with many different technologies competing to become the standard. This will cause difficulties and require the deployment of extra hardware and software when connecting devices. 

Other compatibility issues is caused by non-unified cloud services, lack of standardized communication protocols and diversities in firmware and operating systems among IoT devices.

How legacy differs from IoT​

  • Legacy systems’ ability to analyze unstructured data
    Legacy systems are well suited to handle structured data; unfortunately, most IoT/business interactions generate unstructured data. However, the real challenge for the organizations is to determine which data is valuable, as only quality data is actionable data.
  • Legacy systems’ ability to manage real-time data
    Traditional analytics software generally works on batch-oriented processing, wherein all the data are loaded in a batch and then analyzed
  • Web applications add to the complexity, especially when legacy applications must be integrated with a service-based architecture, like microservices
  • A traditional centralized enterprise service bus (ESB) integration usually could connect every endpoint in your environment. When integrating IoT, a combination of message based protocols, application connectors, data streams, enterprise integration patterns, and application programming interfaces (APIs) are more suited to modern application development.

IoT connectivity and access​

  • Protocol translation is a major part of the IoT development effort.
  • While establishing smooth connectivity within an IoT solution is essential to making it work, establishing a connection between different systems is equally important.
  • Robustness for multiple networks: As IoT is mainly about dependence on sensors for signals and networks for the distribution, chances are that due to certain anomalies in runtime, such as a shutdown of power, incorrect data may get recorded.
  • Identification and Authentication of multiple technologies: There are already billions of devices and to connect them involves a lot of security risks and not just complexity. Bringing along a large number of connected devices on one platform needs formalization and system architecture that can identify and authenticate those devices, and manage granular access control to their data.
fighting the complexities of IoT with Sensative

The right organization and people to manage IoT

Successful IoT operations require some new skills

Performing cross-departmental work

While many IoT deployments are driven by the line-of-business decision maker, it’s critical that the IT organization is represented in the decision-making process because it will be involved in the management and maintenance of the solution over the longer term.

IoT solutions inevitably must break up silos within large enterprises to be successful. This often results in friction or even opposition.

Combination of hardware and software expertise missing

End-to-end IoT implementation requires a broad range of skills, including installation, cloud architecture, application enablement, data management & analytics, machine learning, automation, security design, and enterprise system integration (e.g., into IAM, ERP, CRM). 

When an organization faces a shortage of talent, the planning, execution, and maintaining IoT systems risks going over budget or fail.

Do you find this list daunting? Don’t worry, Sensative has partnered with some of the industry’s best integrators, and they can support you all the way.

No experience with IoT integration

Even when the IT department possesses most of the necessary software and hardware skills in-house, they might have limited experience working with the technology elements that are unique to the Internet of Things. Elements include protocols such as MQTT or AMQP or communication standards such as LoRaWAN®, Z-Wave, and ZigBee.

Develop your IoT capability. Map the IoT skill gaps, cross-train, and upskill the workforce with a focus on new technologies unique to IoT. 

Work with real IoT experts from different fields with in-depth domain knowledge and choose a vendor that can bring in the missing skills either directly or through a strong partner ecosystem.

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