“If you think that the internet has changed your life, think again. The Internet of Things is about to change it all over again!” — Brendan O’Brien
It has changed, and how! With uber cool metropolitan families waking up to ‘good mornings’ from Alexa, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact time when we let Internet drive our lives. We jog to Fitbit, we shop on Amazon and we now have refrigerators giving us ‘cool’ lessons on the many How Tos. The good part is- no one’s complaining. We’re happily embracing Artificial Intelligence. Humans are becoming like machines, while machines are ready to take over the world in a big way. Self-driven cars, smart personal assistants, social media feeds, music streaming services are a few of the many instances of how artificial intelligence is making choices for us and influencing our thought processes every step of the way. IoT did something that was unthinkable a few years ago and brought together all the physical products on a common online IoT platform where they could connect, coordinate and control.
Not surprising then, there are just too many IoT platform providers in the IoT platform market, vying for your attention. If you’re still unsure if IoT is for you or how it can help you take your game to the next level, read on.
IoT platform meaning explained
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty! Simply put, IoT platform primarily functions as a bridge between devices and applications via sensors & controllers, communication network, data analysing & translating software, a gateway device and a host of other things depending on the scale and business model. The biggest advantage of IoT is that it gives real-time responses and can manage humungous amount of data from each component of the network including customers, devices and applications to help make sound decisions. The type of IoT platform architecture you will require will depend on your specific requirements, budget, hardware and the kind of features and functionalities you are looking for.
Companies worldwide are becoming aware of the impact and influence of IoT. In IT parlance, paying for what you use ‘As a Service’ made more sense than investing in infrastructure, software and staff opening new opportunities to curtail costs. Suddenly, the ability to access applications from someone else’s data centres made a lot of sense and the inclination to rethink pre-established business models gained root.
Well, if this is getting a little complicated how about this? There was a time when you bought a car for its sheer aesthetics, performance and price. Come 2019, you want your wheels to give you real-time insights too. How’s the traffic today? Does my navigation system tell me about it? Can the entertainment system play my favourite playlist from different apps depending on my mood? When is the next servicing due? Does it change the lighting with respect to the time of day or night? Basically, the focus is shifting from product to experience. We’re now on the lookout for stuff that’s more engaging and is in sync with our needs. And how do we achieve that? With a smart IoT platform of course. We’re actually discovering new ways of using the same product. In a customer-adaptive environment, data has now become the product. IoT platform design methodology is changing in a big way and IoT platform players are becoming more aggressive as the tides shift in their favour.
All you need is a mindset shift
Product connection and interaction have led to newer analytics, services and process optimization. Essentially, we as organizations are moving towards a culture of value creation. Novel thinkers and product manufacturers however address real-time and emergent needs in a predictive manner. Over-the-air updates help refresh product offerings while information convergence enhances customer experience. Likewise, the approach towards value capture is changing too. Instead of thinking of a new product or device to sell every time, businesses are now able to create recurring revenue and have a better grip on understanding how the ecosystem works.
The road ahead
IoT platforms comparison may be a little difficult at this point in time given the wide range of offerings available today. What remains common however are the extraordinary benefits they offer. Enhanced asset utilisation, efficient processes, improved safety, increased productivity and incredible cost savings to name a few are changing the business dynamics for all.
If you are keen on building a high-efficiency business value, it’s time you considered IoT. For more on understanding the impact of IoT on business don’t forget to check the case studies at Continuity1. Stay tuned for all things IoT.