When businesses decide to innovate, regardless of the sector or industry they operate in, one of the first things they’re often confronted by is the pace at which things are moving or evolving.
Take the Internet of Things (IoT) for example. From the outside looking in, it might seem as though having legions of connected devices could be overkill.
“Think of the customers! Do they really need this right now?” “What about employees? Won’t they be frustrated by having yet another system or tool to use?”
However, when you think about it, this is precisely why we need more IoT devices – to drive innovation forward and to think ahead about the next step(s). Nonetheless, many myths persist. Let’s consider some of them.
IoT Is Just ‘Robots’ Taking Over
Although IoT still sounds ‘futuristic’ to some, and while yes, it is driven by smart machinery that can share and transmit data in an automated way – the fact is that it’s already in use at many companies; across many different disciplines.
IoT’s capabilities extend beyond ‘making things work’ autonomously. It provides companies with the data insight needed to make more informed business decisions.
That’s why you’re just as likely to see IoT at work in everything from production optimisation on the factory floor to asset tracking; as well as customer experience e.g. virtual smart assistants, healthcare wearables, smart homes, and financial decision-making based on real-time data analysis.
IoT Is Not A Single Discipline
It’s deceptive to think of IoT as being a single software-led discipline and requiring one particular skillset.
That’s not actually the case at all. Given the possible applications, as well as the vast array of devices and technologies IoT can be integrated with, it quickly becomes clear – from both a strategic and implementation perspective – that a suite of expertise is needed, particularly when you consider the five main areas of implementation:
- Data and analytics
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
But making the most of IoT goes way beyond technical knowledge too. It requires a whole set of multidisciplinary skills. Business acumen is just as vital: finance, marketing, procurement, leadership – they’re all crucial to successful IoT implementation.
After all, without a purpose, focus, or need for technology to do something; it’s just an additional expense. And a significant one at that.
IoT Is Always Used For Massive Cloud-Based IT Projects
In a lot of cases, IoT does involve connecting machines, vehicles, lightning, devices – even buildings and consumer goods – to the cloud.
However, IoT tech is designed to support ecosystems of all shapes and sizes. As a result, it’s just as likely for sensors and actuators on a production line to only exchange information locally, within a single factory, to optimise a particular process.
Similarly, in more remote locations; where local IT architecture’s used to ensure data stays in a contained environment (such as an oil rig) the same sort of set up is used to power and connect on-site IoT devices.
Given that this kind of scenario is increasingly commonplace, it’s clear that IoT isn’t just suitable for large-scale international IT infrastructure projects. SMEs too can realise the benefits of IoT technology as they will better interact with their customers and therefore improve efficiency, reduce operational costs, validate decisions and identify trends. Examples are tracking of visitors in warehouses, real time stock status, predictive maintenance of machineries
Overall, the successful implementation and deployment of IoT solutions hinges on many different factors – from selecting the right technologies and architectures, employing proper methodologies, learning from best practices, adhering to the right standards, and addressing regulatory requirements.
Though businesses may be surprised at what needs to be done when confronted by scale of
their intended digital transformation; that doesn’t mean everyone else is ahead of the game.
However, given that the technology is now advanced enough to help businesses streamline, scale, and speed up the way they do things, if they’re committed to giving their companies a competitive edge, an investment in IoT can help accelerate their entire operation.