Today‘s businesses implement IoT (Internet of Things) tools for a variety of purposes. IoT platforms provide access to integrated hardware and cloud tools that let companies perform remote inventory management, for example, and gather data-based insights, which in turn enables more autonomous business operations and improves profitability.
IoT is an advanced ecosystem that incorporates hardware, software, networking, and security, and it‘s easy for a business to underestimate the complexity of its implementation process. The fact that it overlaps multiple specialized sectors, from data science to sensor manufacturers, makes it vital for companies to collaborate with experts throughout their IoT deployment.
Gathering data from the physical world
From construction firms to retail stores, employers can collect useful data throughout their daily operations. Remote construction sites can gather weather conditions, for instance, and retail stores can collect product counts at multiple locations. IoT technology can not only gather data, it can also alert employers of abnormal situations, such as when temperatures reach over 100 degrees. Common IoT components include intelligent devices, communication networks, cloud services, application platforms, and security protocols. Companies that are implementing new IoT technology often choose to work with an existing platform rather than starting from scratch.
Existing IoT business solutions
Helium is an established IoT firm that specializes in integrated smart sensing solutions. One of its products is an intelligent refrigerator that senses temperature data and alerts clients when the temperature might cause food to spoil. IBM Watson IoT is another option for companies looking for practical IoT solutions. The company tailors its cloud-based platform for the automotive, electronics, insurance, manufacturing, and retail industries.
IBM’s IoT for Insurance package, for example, gives participating insurance companies information on policyholders’ location, security, weather, traffic, and health. This data, in turn, allows the insurer to provide personalized and immediate protection and services when necessary. Other well-known IoT solution providers include Microsoft, Google, VMware, and Harman.
Optimizing IoT technologies
It’s important for companies that are considering IoT implementation to align IoT development with their business needs. Often, this means ensuring that the IoT platform is optimized for actionable insight. For example, instead of asking a smart refrigerator to send data every five minutes, embedded logic enables it to send only abnormal temperature alerts. This approach will not only free up server space, it also decreases energy consumption.
The cost benefits of IoT optimization is especially pronounced when scaled for thousands of IoT devices. Leveraging an IoT solution provider that values secure software optimization and development can help a company’s long-term IoT aspirations.
IoT security is essential
Because IoT technology communicates through a network, businesses need strong security measures to prevent infrastructure intrusions. For client and business data, data encryption is a must; for IoT technologies, so are network security, authentication, encryption, PKI (public key infrastructure), API (application programming interface) security, and security analytics. A recent report by Forrester Research recommends using an end-to-end IoT security approach to protect proprietary data and prevent breaches. Companies should also ensure that their IoT platform is robust, scalable, and upgradable for future connectivity developments.
For any industry, IoT integration requires careful planning, deployment, and management. According to experts at VMware, successful implementation requires a solution built upon a foundation of collaborations and partnerships of multiple digital spectrum; the right tools and team are needed to reap its benefits with efficiency and security.
Consulting established IoT experts can help companies avoid costly errors while achieving their technological goals more quickly. Conducting different types of employee training for IoT implementation and putting together a talented data team can also effectively complement a company’s future IoT development.
For more on the business value of IoT, see The IoT Transforms The Sum Of The Parts, Not Just The Whole.