Are you contemplating initiating an IoT project but find yourself uncertain about where to begin? Your search ends here! Leveraging our experience in IoT solutions over the past few years, we have narrowed it into four critical factors that you should consider before embarking on your IoT adventure:
#1 Grasp the business case and customer requirements
You should begin your IoT project with these three questions before connecting your first device:
- What is the central issue you aim to resolve with the IoT solution?
- What tangible advantages will this solution deliver?
- What specific data must be gathered to realize these benefits?
For your IoT project to be viable in the long term, it must deliver tangible business value. Otherwise, it risks vulnerabilities in the absence of evident business relevance.
The common tendency is to focus directly on the choice of the devices and sensors. However, your approach should begin not with the devices themselves, but rather with the holistic solution considering the sensing possibilities.
To guide your considerations on the business case for your IoT project, you might focus on these questions:
- Is there an area in which manual labor or intervention can be automated?
- Does a particular stage in the customer journey present persistent issues that demand resolution?
- Is there existing technology in place that does not perform well?
- Are there insights that you or your customers aspire to gain?
#2 Be open-minded
Entering the world of IoT marks a significant stride in the digital transformation of your business. This journey is seldom a linear path but rather a continuous process of acquiring knowledge, conducting experiments, and pushing the boundaries of innovation.
As IoT technology evolves rapidly, it’s imperative to maintain a mindset that is open to adaptation and change, all while staying at the forefront of technological advancements. This adaptive mindset and openness prove invaluable when encountering new challenges, such as technological updates or shifts in user behavior. The greater your flexibility, the swifter you’ll be in conquering these hurdles.
#3 Create a comprehensive solution design
Once you’ve defined the business value your IoT project aims to deliver, the next crucial step is to deliberate on the IoT architecture which is essential to design effective solutions.
By comprehending the core four components, you can establish a foundation for your IoT projects that will help you achieve your objectives:
- Devices: These encompass sensors and physical objects responsible for gathering data from the physical world. They might be integrated into everyday items like automobiles, buildings, or household appliances, or they could stand as independent entities, such as weather stations or asset trackers.
- Connectivity: To transfer data from devices to your data processing infrastructure, a robust connectivity solution is essential within your IoT architecture. This can involve both wired and wireless connections, or a hybrid approach. Modern IoT solutions frequently leverage technologies such as LoRaWAN, mioty, cellular IoT (NB-IoT, LTE-M), and Bluetooth.
- Data processing: The data processing component of an IoT architecture handles storage, analysis, and action based on the data collected by devices. This process can be executed through cloud-based services, on-premises hardware, or a combination of both.
- Applications: In the IoT architecture, applications serve as the interfaces through which users engage with the data collected from devices. The specific form and function of these applications are contingent on the business requirements. They may be web-based platforms, mobile applications, or simple signage screens. Essentially, they provide users with visualized insights and can be integrated into specific industry business management tools.
#4 Realize your POC
With your business case, mindset, and end-to-end solution design in place, the next crucial step is to create a proof-of-concept (POC) solution.
A POC is an initial stage prototype developed to assess the feasibility of a concept. POCs are typically crafted before embarking on the development of a fully-fledged solution and allocating extensive resources. This approach allows you to maintain cost-efficiency and agility in refining your solution design.
Creating a POC offers the advantage of early identification of potential challenges or concerns. This proactive step can ultimately save both time and money in the long term, enabling you to address issues before they escalate into major obstacles. Additionally, a successful POC can generate momentum, enthusiasm, and potential funding for your project.
Now it’s your turn! Take the first steps towards transforming your business with the power of IoT.