8 Steps to Accelerating IoT Adoption for an Enterprise

1 - 8 Steps to Accelerating IoT Adoption for an Enterprise
2 - Select the Right Development Platform for IoT
3 - Build Functionality for IoT from the Start
4 - Address Security and Privacy Concerns to Fully Tap IoT's Potential
5 - IoT Product Design Needs Direct Line of Sight to Your User
6 - Nail Down the Right Data Models, Cost of Supporting IoT Scale
7 - Alignment of IT and IoT Teams
8 - Interoperability Between IoT Systems Drives Value
9 - User Experience Is a Game-Changer
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8 Steps to Accelerating IoT Adoption for an Enterprise

As enterprises move deeper into IoT, multiple factors will determine whether their technology ultimately succeeds or fails. Here are a few best practices.

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Select the Right Development Platform for IoT

The IoT market is highly fragmented, and it is critical to first assess the value from an IoT application. The new challenges arising from IoT call for new, more flexible development methods that enable developers to build applications efficiently and deploy them to multiple devices. In the absence of a single standard of device connectivity, ease of integration with a variety of platforms is a necessity. Hence, it's imperative to select a future-proof standard IoT platform. Selecting the right tool for your organization and its specific company road map will ensure your IoT strategy is architected for your success.

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Build Functionality for IoT from the Start

A thorough analysis of an application at the earliest stages of the design process is the optimal path to make the right technology choices and get products to market as quickly as possible. Few IT departments and/or companies have the expertise or the resources to build every component of their design from scratch and tune them for IoT. Like any other major business decision, it is important to evaluate cost constraints, time-to-market and performance requirements in the design stage to ensure the end product is both valuable and affordable before making any large design or manufacturing investments.

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Address Security and Privacy Concerns to Fully Tap IoT's Potential

To realize the potential of IoT, security and privacy concerns need to be addressed effectively at the platform design and development stage. In addition to being self-regulating, a structured and well-defined cyber-security and privacy policy must be developed with efficient collaboration between governments and enterprises. It also is key to ensure that emerging IoT-specific legislation and industry-standard protocols encourage rather than stifle innovation. Recently, Brenna Berman, CIO for the city of Chicago, noted that companies and cities alike "need security protocols within IoT systems that mirror the same principles in privacy policies." This will allow individuals and communities to reap the advantages of IoT.

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IoT Product Design Needs Direct Line of Sight to Your User

IoT products and services need to provide a direct line of sight to the user. Individual services typically are bundled to give a clear, 360-degree overview of the user. While creating an IoT platform, ensure the entire visibility loop is complete and gives unobstructed visibility into user behavior. Lack of a comprehensive view owing to disjointed microservices is the biggest challenge in developing IoT products today. Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corp., said that "a better way to approach IoT is to think of it not as a collection of sensors but as a collection of cloud-hosted microservices. Microservices let you perform specific tasks, read specific data elements and change specific parameters."

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Nail Down the Right Data Models, Cost of Supporting IoT Scale

Many companies are considering IoT to transform the way their products and services are priced. However, a key strategy for developing low-cost designs is recognizing the designed-in price is what matters. Aggressive time-to-market goals are the enemy of low-cost design. The fastest way to create a product is to use an off-the-shelf solution, such as a reference design, and modify it as little as possible. The problem with this approach is that you can miss out on many cost-reduction opportunities for both components and manufacturing. Knowing your production volume and assessing the time-to-market impact for a product will help you balance the cost from a business perspective.

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Alignment of IT and IoT Teams

For companies launching their first connected product suite, there is significant infrastructure and organizational alignment that must be achieved to design, develop, launch and support a successful IoT strategy. Historically, IT and IoT teams have worked in silos. However, there is an increasing need for these teams to be completely aligned. Complete alignment is necessary for visibility into all stages of deployment, and is a must for ensuring a smooth user experience. For example, an IT team may implement beneficial strategies that an IoT team may not have considered, and vice versa.

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Interoperability Between IoT Systems Drives Value

With the expansion of IoT, interoperability between IoT systems is critical. Open APIs and tools to securely collect, store and act on any data from any connected device or cloud service is a must to ensure a valuable user experience. In fact, according to a report from research firm McKinsey & Co., interoperability between IoT systems is critical. Of the total potential economic value the IoT enables, interoperability is required for 40 percent on average and for nearly 60 percent in some settings. Using APIs and tools, companies can bring new IoT solutions and services to market, tap into new revenue streams and grow their business.

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User Experience Is a Game-Changer

It may not seem obvious now, but user experience (UX) and IoT are linked, and these links will grow ever stronger as time passes as UX takes on an entirely new significance. A seamless UX is a must-have in IoT for both industrial and consumer domains, as it improves user-friendliness and delights users. A good UI will make IoT reach its full potential, as it makes user-machine interaction possible. UX consultant Armen Ghazarian recently wrote: "The best possible way to embrace all of the challenges of IoT is to put yourself in the user's shoes and experience IoT the way a typical user would. This way you will discover the main usability pain points that need to be fixed, as well as discover how exactly the UX can be improved."

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