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Friday, February 14, 2020

Three Scalability Issues Affecting IoT Adoption #IoT

The IoT

Three Scalability Issues Affecting IoT Adoption

“You can see the stars and still not see the light” — The Eagles, Already Gone, 1974

An article by Hatem Oueslati, CEO of IoTerop.

Years of experience in technology have taught me a few hard lessons. The first lesson is that new technology is often over-hyped, forgetting that technology is a means, with business being the goal. As adoption begins, those stoic few, the innovators, help us better understand the intrinsic business logic supporting adoption.

Technology Adoption Curve

Three Scalability Issues Affecting IoT Adoption

A reoccurring theme, as we progress from millions to billions of devices, is scalability. Scalability is omnipresent right now; companies are pivoting around the idea. MachNation, a highly respected IoT analyst group, recently launched a software platform to test IoT vendor scalability claims. They are changing their services and business model to address the subject of scalability better. Scalability, however, is not one issue, but three.

Scalability: Technological Considerations

Invariably when we invoke IoT scalability, we begin by talking about the technological elephant in the room–How do we manage billions of devices? These devices will need to communicate securely with servers using meshed-networks. Billions of devices will be technically challenging, but many brilliant engineers are working to solve this problem. Still, we believe the cloud-first focus conveniently overlooks the key constraint—the devices themselves.

Overcoming scalability starts with robust, efficient, standardized services on the device, not in the cloud. Is data being managed intelligently, or does the device stupidly send data wasting precious resources? Details like these have a significant impact on solution performance and costs.

This subject merits a whitepaper, but clearly, there is a direct correlation, if not causation, between efficient device management and scalability, and therefore operational costs.

Scalability: Operational Costs

The second wave of scalability is operational costs.

IoT is a means. The objective is efficiency and profits. When deploying an object, some essential questions are the following:

    1. What if there is an operational anomaly with a device? How do we service it? Can it be done remotely? What operational needs and costs will operating devices require? A service organization. More IT resources. Each decision affects the cost-basis.
    2. Do these devices create vulnerabilities? The answer is yes. Devices are remote, constrained, and vulnerable. The real question is, what are the implications of these vulnerabilities? Industrial sabotage, IoT ransomware attacks, business disruption, reputation. It is impossible to imagine all the eventualities, but clearly, there will be challenges and they will be costly.
    3. What are the implications of layering business processes on top of inadequately managed devices? Could smart devices meant to invigorate industries instead become a vast, distributed Achille’s Heel? Some hypothesize “stupid” devices will create massive problems, equating poorly conceived IoT devices to asbestos. What will bad solutions end-up costing us?

Intelligently using IoT will create opportunities, but the opposite will be true as well. Poor IoT device management will drive up costs limiting deployment scale.

Scalability: Business Model

Scalability’s third wave will be our ability to share and exploit data throughout the IoT ecosystem intelligently. We think of this as IoT 2.0.

Take a very concrete, imaginable use-case–the electric car:

    1. Your smart, electric vehicle is low on charge;
    2. The car signals the need to your home’s smart meter;
    3. The smart meter purchases power at advantageous rates storing electricity in a battery;
    4. The battery recharges your car;
    5. Billing and reporting are all automated.

This use-case requires smart objects from different industries to securely, intelligently share data throughout different industrial ecosystems. Scalable IoT strategies must be flexible.

Successful organizations will capitalize on opportunities faster, less expensively, than their competition. Costs required to create or change a solution undermine business logic supporting IoT adoption.

Device Management: The Foundation

Three take-aways:

  • Device management efficiency affects solution quality and scalability. The more efficient the device services, the less the devices needelessly tax networks and back-end systems.
  • Device management service directly impacts operating costs. Costs and profits, not technology, will be the biggest challenge facing massive deployments. It is always, always about numbers.
  • Device management services must be synonymous with change management. IoT is just starting. IoT 2.0 will be technically even more challenging.

IoT 2.0 will be smart from end-to-end, enterprise-to-consumer, industry-to-industry because it will be open, secure, modifiable, and scalable.

About the author: Hatem Oueslati is CEO of IoTerop, an award-winning leader of IoT device management solutions and an important contributor to open-standards. Our Lightweight M2M compliant framework of rich device services enables companies to build future-proof industrial Internet-of-Things solutions quickly. Customers include Itron, Traxens, and Elvaco.

The post Three Scalability Issues Affecting IoT Adoption appeared first on IoT Business News.


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