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Comprehensive IoT Strategy

By CIOReview | Tuesday, May 2, 2017

With the advent of IoT, businesses are exploring new avenues to tap the functionalities of on-field embedded devices and connect them with the power of internet. However, building IoT network requires holistic strategy. As the realm of technology is full of tools and processes, analyzing operating and surrounding environment for IoT enabled devices is simpler as compared to analysis of embedded devices. Though embedded devices can operate independently in unique and limited environment, there is a sea change in the operational framework. Embedded tools require applications with elaborate policies and definitions for work environment. The key to unleashing potential of IoT for business and bringing embedded devices in main network largely depends on the accurately defined frameworks before the commencement of application development. Limited resources to craft application for standalone embedded devices restrain the developers from developing holistic applications and the subsequent underperformance becomes an inevitable outcome. For a business, a subpar performance is not the desirable outcome because of high probability for serious implications in the real physical world. There is a chasm in user expectation between performance metrics of pure web-based  application and embedded device application. Users expect 24/7 optimal functioning of embedded devices whereas failure of cloud-native solution remains ignored.

Development of embedded application

Now, developers need to reset their development strategy as embedded devices are not deployed on-field to work independently. Present day market scenario prompts companies to include embedded devices in internet connected mesh of machines and align their functioning with the business purpose. Conventionally, embedded tools run on few lines of customized code. The traditional system set up is well suited for one user or zero connection environment. However, as soon as the machine is connected to other machines or internet, security and integration issues arise. A business in the digital era has to strategize for incorporating security measures. If a company does not deploy encryption or authentication mechanism, the device becomes an open field for the attacker. As the device generates data streams throughout lifetime of its operation, the unauthorized access can prove fatal for any business. The list of performance parameters is endless for the developers as they have to ensure smooth functioning of the device as well.

What should be the IoT strategy?

The present market scenario certainly impels businesses to include all stakeholders that lead to crafting of robust IoT strategy. The participation of product managers, system architects, and security experts is critical. While crafting IoT strategy, companies have to focus on finetuning the user experiences in the offline and online world while providing robust security mechanisms. IT leadership of a company should perceive embedded tools as future IoT devices and equip them with adequate security mechanism. Going further, IoT strategy should revolve around security, speed of connectivity, and operation. Though the equipment manufacturers provide a range of functionalities, companies should build essential functionalities independently. Security audits and regular testing for patches can be the best practices to be followed in the long run.

Combining Data Analytics with IoT

IoT device generates worthwhile data and holds immense value in the measurement of various parameters like temperature, humidity, or other physical world activity. By using analytics, businesses can gain more actionable insights and eventually ameliorate the user experience. Currently available marketplace solutions such as IBM Bluemix underpins programming languages, services, and simplifies IoT application development, deployment, and maintenance. The platform also provides cloud infrastructure, compute power, storage capability, and networking abilities. With IBM Watson, enterprises can create more business value through the power of analytics.

The complexities of physical world and intricacies of cyber world raise a challenge for the organizations. However, with the right strategy and solution, businesses can easily scale insurmountable challenges by harnessing the power of IoT that can change lives of billions around the world.