The business of IoT: Make the right technology decisions

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This is the second installment in The Business of IoT blog series. If you missed part one, go check it out now: Think before you leap!

Another key consideration when evaluating where IoT can improve your business is your choice of device or connectivity technology. Again, asking the right questions at the right time will help drive these decisions.

You want to build a connected “thing”, so what technology are you going to use to connect it?

One stumbling block is that often buying decisions can be forced down the path of “what’s familiar” because it seems easier.

In one case study, a Pelion customer wanted to develop a product which could be connected and managed from anywhere in the world, and they decided to use Bluetooth. It simply didn’t work for their use case, but the internal architect pushed for Bluetooth because it was what he knew. Now, many months into their development cycle, they’ve had to rethink, scrap their plans, and start fresh.

Future-proofing is key

Think long term. Ask yourself what new technology should you be evaluating and where will it be in the next few years in terms of future development? Most companies lack the foresight to future proof their plans. For true long-term success, don’t just go along with what is familiar, draw conclusions and then make decisions based on what you already know. You need to take the time to research what other options are available to you. Finding the right partner to inform these decisions is critical, and this is often where Pelion can bring our expertise to the table.

If you took the time to complete our recommended exercise of mapping out what you want to achieve, you’ll find that planning can help drive a lot of these discussions and dictate how you direct your investment strategies. Ask yourself what foundational technology will be needed to achieve your business objectives, and how it will fit into your plans. We’re currently seeing many prospective innovators doing their homework around 5G and what benefits it might bring to their long-term business goals. If you’re wanting to learn more about 5G, you could have a look at our 5G for IoT introduction blog.

Ignore the hype, keep it simple

If the people making the key technology decisions don’t understand IoT, the project will fail. Too often, we see customers investing heavily into understanding the “hype” technologies or implementations that are a complete mismatch for their end goal. Keep it simple. Map the decision-making process to the outcomes that the business is trying to achieve and consider which technologies are best fit for the job (in the present as well as the future). Finding a partner who can help you deploy today is great, but you also want to ensure they’ll be able to help you innovate in the future.

These decisions can look vastly different depending on the organization, with larger firms able to hire people and design internally, with plenty of engineering resource and tons of money invested. More traditional company will need to rely on system integrators and external partners to effectively design and deploy their IoT plans.

Stay tuned for the next installment of this series, “Monetizing IoT and seeing better ROI”.

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