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How to choose an IoT platform when there are so many options

There are hundreds of platforms in use and who knows which one will last? Here are some ways to narrow your decision.

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Image: iStockphoto / ipopba

There are more than 600 different Internet of Things (IoT) platforms around the world, and it is not guaranteed that they will work together or even be around for the next three to five years. It’s a tough job for IT managers who want to use IoT devices in their business but also know that they will be held accountable if a vendor or solution does not work as advertised or disappears altogether.

SEE: 5 Internet of Things (IoT) innovation (free Pdf) (TechRepublic)

Sanjay Sarma, professor of mechanical engineering, says, “In a rapidly evolving ecosystem space like IoT, changes in standards, ‘bridges’ are unavailable, a cloud service cut off, etc., and vice president of open learning at MIT.” and these products themselves may go bankrupt. ”

Clearly, when you choose an IoT device or platform, you not only examine a solution to see if it meets your business needs, but also the lifecycle of the solution (and vendor) of a product.

These can be dangerous waters for IT decision makers to take action – and what do you do?

Develop a comprehensive IoT architecture

Your first need for IoT may be in only one business area today, but it still makes sense to develop a strategic IoT roadmap that covers the entire business and imagines which IoT you can run for the next five years. By anticipating where you will likely be and sharing this vision with management, you can start building a basic platform where all your IoT should work.

SEE: IoT standards: the US government must create them and businesses will follow (TechRepublic)

Microsoft and AWS already offer IoT platforms, so it’s a pretty safe bet to consider one of these widely accepted platforms. By choosing a widely accepted platform, you are positioning yourself for IoT solutions that are sufficiently standardized to work on these platforms and can be substituted for similar solutions when a situation arises that guarantees this.

This is important because many IoT solutions come with proprietary operating systems and have limited interoperability. If they run on a widely accepted IoT platform, they are less likely to experience interoperability issues. Also, in the Wild West of many small and beginning IoT vendors, you never know when your chosen company might be able to buy or cease operations. If you are working on a common IoT platform, you have a higher chance of finding an alternative solution.

Take your IoT assets under central control

Many organizations have shadow IoT that IT doesn’t even know about. A centralized IT function should be able to account for all corporate IoT assets at a minimal level. This makes assets traceable and also helps ensure interoperable and long-lasting IoT solutions are chosen first. Senior management needs to support central IT asset management, but it is up to CIOs to explain why centralized IoT asset management is required.

SEE: Pandemic accelerated adoption and complexity of IoT technology (TechRepublic)

Standardize your staff’s IoT skills

The key to educating your staff with IoT is to foster the development of general IoT skills that can be applied to any IoT solution or product. Staff can always adapt to the nuances of different products. What you want to avoid is to focus training too narrowly on just one or two products, as your IoT product portfolio will definitely change and your IT staff should be able to adapt their skills accordingly.

Measure your IoT payback

With every IoT purchase, there is an expectation that the investment will pay for itself within a year or two. This payback is identified during the budget process, and if a vendor or product disappears shortly after that, you’ll still want to demonstrate that you’ve reached the initial ROI target. Another guideline is the three-year rule: What is the probability that the seller will be around in three years before signing a contract and making a financial investment?

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