Questions to Consider for a Pragmatic IoT Solution
The internet made the world flatter. It allows us to gather and share information from any place in the world and in a real time manner. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next wave of innovation that will connect the world at a more granular level, connecting every device – from phones, sensors, robots, applications to platforms and systems.
Thus, will it get complex? Yes, of course. Imagine the amount of data and interaction happening on billions of devices. Think about the compliance requirements, data storage, security and privacy. Unless we can manage this maze of connectivity and harness the data it will generate, IoT as a strategy could be a disaster.
As an organization prepares itself for an IoT led digital transformation, it needs to recognize that the exercise is not limited to adopting new digital technology alone but involves questions around user experience, security and business model that need pragmatic answers.
The key questions to ask when considering IoT are:
What is your context, objective, roadmap and business case?
Do you want to enhance your operational efficiencies? Improve customer experience? Transform your business model from selling products to selling product as a service? Increase topline? What is the overall enterprise digital roadmap and current footprint? What do you want your IoT eco-system to do, for example the number of dollars you aspire to save or the number of productive hours you would like to gain, and by when and how?
Your objective will help you identify the different value chain components of the business and technology landscape that need to be IoT enabled.
Example: A food and beverage company is looking at IoT to reduce loss of goods in transit due to spoilage owing to lack of ideal temperature in their trucks or due to delivery delays.
Where do you start? Brownfield vs Greenfield
Do you have existing investments in IOT technology components which you can reuse? Are you setting up new business or assets which need to be IOT enabled from ground zero? There would be different objectives and approaches for different kind of scenarios. Also, identify those processes, devices, people, location or product line that will lend itself the most to the benefits of IoT. You can start small, wait for the ROI to realize before committing to larger IoT ambitions.
Example: A leading robotics company engaged Infosys to develop a remote robot monitoring solution. Infosys implemented a scalable asset management solution with role-based views into real-time cloud-based alerts and key performance indicators (KPIs). This offered visibility into near real-time asset status, thereby improving shop-floor performance. The solution could scale up to accommodate new assets being brought into the business and could scale down for those assets that were being discontinued or written off.
How will you develop an IoT Ecosystem? Build, Buy or Partner
It is hard to find one provider who can take care of all the different capabilities required to build the IoT ecosystem. You need to identify the platform, build the integration strategy, create a community of partners, build connectivity to disparate networks, to be able to develop the products and services you need.
Example: Infosys is part of a consortium led by a leading Automotive OEM that aims to provide safer driving experiences by minimizing road accidents. As part of the driver awareness research project, the consortium co-created a Proof of Concept (PoC) to prevent driver distraction and manage driver workload. Infosys’ contribution to the research included custom biometric software and algorithms. We also designed and developed a telematics device prototype that can gather, transmit, score, and analyze driver data for usage-based insurance. Our design sparked off innovation in designing usage-based insurance products and schemes based on driver behavior.
What is your security Solution and data protection plan?
Have you thought about the privacy and security required for your IoT devices and environments?
Example: Automotive Industries are worried about hackers breaching connected cars by remotely gaining control over vehicles. How can they secure their moving end-points, devices, data centers and the cloud?
While you find the answers to these questions, you will recognize that IoT remains fragmented and most of the solutions exist in isolation and no single platform provides end to end value chain – around the life cycle of an asset.
As a multi-dimensional service provider, Infosys has helped several enterprises navigate their digital journey with a powerful combination of technology, domain and engineering expertise, advisory and consulting services, and a robust partner ecosystem needed to reduce the complexity of IoT implementations and operations.