How to Build a Better IoT Framework

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

To develop IoT ecosystems, business and IT leaders must connect various technologies, manage partnerships, oversee APIs, and address security and privacy issues.

The tire manufacturer recognized that it could charge a premium by providing more data to customers. Other industries—a retailer, for example—might benefit by connecting point-of-sale data, social media feeds, inventory management systems and beacons to introduce dynamic pricing, contextual marketing and mobile orders.

Not surprisingly, it's critical to assemble the right technology framework for the task. This means building an ecosystem—with the right technology partners and analytics providers—to deliver valuable features and services. In some cases, organizations might look to use a plug-in IoT platform or contract for other services. But the task doesn't stop there.

There's also a need to design the interfaces, apps and other systems that transform the IoT into actual products and services. McNeil believes that it all comes down to these two core things: "The processes and skills needed to build an IoT framework and the technology necessary to support the initiative. Once you have a framework in place, you can begin to address any gaps and move forward."

Keeping an Eye on Digital Transformation

As organizations embrace a connected world and build systems for both the industrial internet of things and consumer-facing IoT products and services, the initiative will begin to take shape, Capgemini's Krupitzer says. At this point, conversations typically revolve around how to add more sensors to products and machines, how to connect factories and supply chains, and how to achieve economies of scale with the IoT.

"It's a dialog that requires business and IT involvement," she says. "There's a need to understand how the IoT will be used to collect data, but also how to use it and draw insights from it."

This, in turn, may lead to conversations about how to digitally transform the business beyond the IoT. In some cases, organizations may discover that they need to morph from product-centric firms to services companies. This may result is further discussions about new business models and ripple into areas such as analytics, automation, interoperability, security issues and privacy concerns.

In the end, it's important to avoid getting caught up in the technology and the deluge of data that can result from IoT sensors, machines, smartphones, social streams and more. It's about gathering more data. It's about collecting the right data and connecting the right data points.

"Once you identify the value points and have a hypothesis, you can begin to test, adjust or change them and home in on the opportunities," says Krupitzer. The process is iterative and incremental, but, "When organizations get things right, it can change the landscape and disrupt the business or an entire industry."

This article was originally published on 2017-05-24
Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).
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