You would have undoubtedly had a water cooler conversation about the “Internet of Things” with colleagues in your business and to answer the inevitable question, “So, what’s our plan for the Internet of Things thing?”
The reason why your business colleagues want the answer is that many will see opportunities to develop their line of business or service offering with some kind of IoT deployment and will quote new services being launched by either competitors or related industries that take advantage of this technology.
This technology, as you will know, is not a single entity. More likely a mix of sensors, applications, security, network and cloud. Of equal importance of course is the data extracted that will be used to make decisions in a timely manner.
These types of conversations won’t go away for one simple reason, IoT is at the optimum cross over point between IT and business and therefore needs a smart approach rather than a complicated diagram if a deployment is going to get off the ground and become successful.
The key to this is to get ahead of the game and have a strategy in place that you can reply to the question on a positive footing rather than the “I’ll get back to you on that one” conversation. And before the water cooler question becomes a board room question, if not already.
The approach doesn’t need to be complicated but it needs to have a number of simple steps to give the business confidence that what lies ahead will differentiate and improve their offer, is secure and will scale if successful.
Looking at the tech industry, big bets are being taken by all providers that revenues from services and platforms derived from IoT will replace legacy revenues, which in turn has led to major investment, mergers and acquisitions.
What is also clear is that no one single provider will have the answer, only a desire to engage you in order to get some returns for this investment.
As a starting point, there are a few key things such as the business case, security and scalability to consider but this doesn’t need to be complicated, just coordinated and collaborative with a clear process to move from insight to deployment to a monetised service.
This is what your senior board members will be looking for, the approach rather than the tech. That will come later once you’ve filled in the gaps.
Taking an independent view and using that to aggregate the services available rather than trying to fit everything into one box is the most important step on the journey to a successful IoT deployment.
To answer the initial question posed “what’s your plan?”, you will be able to describe an approach rather than complicated architecture to give the best chance of getting a program up and running with the buy-in from your business colleagues.