The Internet of Things has the potential to help and benefit many organizations by reducing operating costs and advancing workplace safety. But the technology faces numerous hurdles as it tries to gain a more significant foothold in the business world. I am often asked what the most substantial difficulties are to get an IoT implemented into an organization. Every time I answer: Security and, the implementation itself. Of course, there are other concerns like ROI and scalability, but they are both often overcome quickly after a solution is deployed, and the first two concerns are met.
The Internet of Things is fraught with security issues, and it seems like it might be getting worse. With the number of connected devices forecasted to grow hand over fist in the coming years, we are going to see higher numbers of cases where an IoT device was the source of the issue.
This security risk is, of course, cause for concern, especially when you are working with sensitive data or have access to mission-critical solutions. The reason Security is also the number one concern for most people is that it’s on the news and in our blogs, it’s always right in front of us. We hear about IoT security issues all the time, and that is not going to stop anytime soon.
Echolo has taken an interesting approach to this security crisis; we have designed a solution that allows customers to bring the power of IoT into your secure four walls. We have developed a fully private IoT solution for secure and sensitive data situations. This prevents data from leaving your network but still allows you to make decisions in real time from the thousands of sensors deployed in your space.
IoT Implementation / ROI
Implementing an Internet of Things solution can be very complicated; often, the implementation is shut down by the above concerns of security. If the IoT Project does reach this point, it can go one of two ways. The solution can be highly complicated, and implementation can take months and may take years to see the ROI.
The next step is to establish the essentials of your business use case. Ask yourself and your team where you would like to see payback from this IoT initiative. Four of the fastest paths to IoT ROI for businesses are:
- Connected operations: Joining/linking devices, sensors and meters to a network
- Remote services: Monitoring, control, asset management
- Predictive analytics: Identify, understand and immediately take best actions
- Preventative maintenance: Increase uptime and productive hours
Other paths to ROI can include revenue generation, new business models, go-to-market strategies, cost reduction, improved efficiency, and many others. Once you have identified where you would most like to see the payback, ask yourself what business tasks would create this payback. Is it connected operations, monitoring, smart environments, or something else?
This exercise will help you determine just how well prepared your proposed business use case is. If you’re struggling with this step, you may want to socialize your proposal around the organization and get more group input and agreement. If after this exercise, you have identified a clear business case with payback goals and pathways, you are well on your way to starting a successful IoT initiative.
On-Premise or In the Cloud
Your critical decisions are how to deploy your IoT project; on-premise, in the cloud, or through a hybrid edge model. There are advantages to each approach. Much of the decision depends on the type of data you need to store, and your organization’s attitude toward cloud computing. Some of the reasons to consider on-premise deployment range from regulations, to security concerns, to connectivity and speed issues – often we see Healthcare, and companies that manage sensitive data take the on-premise approach.
Many companies prefer a cloud solution, using the Echolo IoT Cloud Platform because they can deploy quickly and at a lower development and maintenance cost, along with having an agile, scalable platform that allows them to start small and add or subtract new devices and data streams as needed.
Some companies prefer a hybrid edge model, due to the limitations of operating in either a solely dedicated or public cloud environment. The hybrid approach offers benefits, such as enhanced security, while leveraging the cost and scalability benefits of the cloud.
When trying to understand the Internet of Things, it starts to get confusing when you attempt to “swallow” the whole pill at once. IoT is a BIG pill and can get larger the longer you think about it or even search online for answers. The Internet of Things should not be this complicated and in my latest book “Untangle the IoT Mystery” I cover the very basics of what makes up the Internet of things from a full blow product to the smaller parts of the project or product like hardware and software. When looking at this, I also dig into IoT security and how to avoid getting yourself into trouble. Security with IoT is relatively simple as long as you follow the easy to use rules I lay out. After many years in both the M2M industry along with IoT, my new book provides you with a proven IoT Strategy Framework and the all-important IoT Checklist to keep you running smooth.
This book is for someone that wants to understand how the Internet of Things works from basic understanding to advanced use cases. In this book, I have also given you my IoT Strategy checklist that outlines how to start and ensure your project will not go in the fail column. I encourage you to use this book as a guide and reference when developing or getting involved in an Internet of Things Project.