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Internet of Things

How to Pick the Right IoT Solution Provider

July 19, 2018
How to Pick the Right IoT Solution Provider

If you are looking for a custom IoT (Internet of Things) development company, then you need to stop looking. There are already many matured IoT solutions available in the market and you should pick the right solution which can be configured for your requirements. Developing a custom IoT solution is a big no-no because it takes lots of efforts to mature it when it comes to scalability, performance, integration or security.

The first step towards picking a right IoT provider is knowing whether they provide complete IoT solution or is it just an IoT platform?

The first thing you want to know if they are the comprehensive IoT solution provider or just another IoT Platform company. Be mindful that with IoT platform you will end up doing everything and will require many IT competencies to implement it. On the other hand, with a complete IoT solution you will get everything as out of the box.

Why you should not go for IoT Platform?
Many of the IoT platforms do not represent the entire set of services needed to support an enterprise to build an IoT business solution. Every IoT platform will need to be configured, modified, and integrated with back-end systems and data to meet the requirements of IoT project or deployment.

The complexity of integration could include having your engineers and developers test development boards, to understand their capabilities, working with system integrators to audit existing IoT endpoints and systems, or working with third-party analytics companies for the analysis of big data streams. All of this activity will mean investing significantly in integrating the IoT platform with your specific environment and adapted to your vertical market industry. This customization will often be done by system integrators, and its cost will often exceed that of IoT platforms.

Okay, you are sold on IoT Solution provider, now what?
Look for the following Four key considerations when opting for the RIGHT IoT solution provider

1. End-to-End IoT solution provider
To meet their IoT project requirements, companies typically focus their majority of attention on instrumenting their “things” and picking an IoT platform hub. They often underestimate the degree of impact that these projects will have on their applications.
But the IoT business solutions mostly cannot be fully implemented technically or fully realized commercially until they are flawlessly integrated with related business applications to help improve core business processes.

IoT solutions are built by integrating a combination of:

i. Real-world things
ii. A distributed IoT platform suite, including some or all IoT endpoints, IoT edge platforms (gateways) and IoT platform hubs
iii. Relevant existing, new, or modified mobile and enterprise applications and processes.

2. Architecture
An IoT platform is basically the heart of the entire IoT solution. The market is flooded with hundreds of IoT PaaS vendors and an outstanding IoT solution must be accompanied with even more brilliant IoT platform. So what architectural qualities should an IoT platform possess?

a) Scalable
IoT projects usually include a huge amount of IoT data and IoT devices. Many companies will need to rely on advanced web-scale features, as well as form new policies for information management when ingesting so much IoT data from so many sources. This can be a scary task for some companies that are already struggling to manage traditional master data.

b) Secure
IoT adopters have cited IoT cybersecurity as their key technological challenge. The cybersecurity requirements include:

• Management and enforcement of risk and policy
• An ability to monitor, detect, and respond to threats
• A distributed access control and management across IT assets

c) Configurable
The IoT solution which is provided by the IoT solution provider should be configurable to meet your requirements.

d) Integrable
The IoT project implementers often underestimate the IoT integration complexity. The minimum IoT integration requirements include IoT device and data integration, along with enterprise application integration, SaaS integration, mobile app integration and legacy system integration.

3. Reports and Analysis

a) Business Intelligence (BI)
No matter in which vertical a particular company resides but if an organization gives a quick business decision than it must be incorporated into business intelligence. To increase the ability of a company and to make the appropriate use of the data, a right company would use business intelligence in the following way:

• As BI encourages to explore new opportunities and identifies the main threats, it would surely speed up the decision-making process of a company.
• The accomplishment to share and monitor the real-time data and then converting the data to simple charts and tables is what makes an organization unique with the correct dashboard.
• Identification of patterns and user-friendly correlation of trends are the out of the box solution feature for a right custom IoT developer company.

b) Pre-defined reports and customized dashboards
The Human-machine interface is impossible without a dashboard that helps in communication between the physical world and digital world. The dashboard should be customizable depending on the priority of users, to provide the in-depth analysis. Make sure that the provider includes all the typical requirements of different user roles like field technician, Operations Manager, and executive.

IoT Dashboard

4. Look for case studies
Because past product implementation experience has always played a key role in future project implementation, so does goes in IoT product deployment. Look for case studies of the IoT project deployment by the specific IoT solution provider. The experienced IoT Solution Provider can help you identify the predefined architecture which will optimize the ease-of-use and security in your solution.

5. Complete Project COST
Don’t go for a big bang solution or a million-dollar solution. IoT is still not matured hence recommendations are to go for an iterative approach starting from a PoC (Proof of Concept). Go with the providers who support SaaS model so that you are not invested upfront in it and can opt for Opex (Operational Expenditure) model.

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