3 IoT implementation challenges you will face and how to overcome them
At its core, the Internet of Things (IoT) is about collecting data that can be analyzed and acted upon. And while this idea sounds simple enough, the actual implementation of IoT devices – more specifically, the right IoT devices – is anything but.
Each organization has its own particular needs and requirements. The key is sorting through everything and finding the right solution for you.
Along the way to starting your first IoT network, you’re bound to face a few challenges. These three are among the most common obstacles to a successful IoT implementation.
Using all 5 senses
It’s not uncommon for organizations to think about IoT devices in terms of touch — a smart thermostat gauging the temperature or sensors measuring soil composition and rainfall in agriculture, for example. This belief limits organizations to only a small segment of devices available.
Don’t overlook video or audio — or even taste — that could capture additional data worth measuring. You could miss out on video quality control monitoring, or sound sensors that monitor manufacturing lines for a change in audio tones, alerting you when a loose bearing needs attention.
Ask yourself, “What data could we analyze and respond to with some sort of action?” In answering this question, you can capitalize on more diverse sets of data.
Knowing what you don’t know
When you start thinking in all five senses, there are a lot of IoT choices out there. In fact, given all the technology available on the market, the IoT should really be called “IoE,” Internet of Everything. In this wild west, it can seem easier to stick to what’s familiar.
Yet, that’s not necessarily a good thing from an IoT perspective. Old legacy devices don’t always work with newer requirements, and stepping out of your comfort zone can be challenging.
Exploring all the different options available to you could take years. Sometimes, newer technologies will best help you solve a problem. Sometimes, you can use existing technologies for new applications.
You might find it helpful to engage an experienced partner that has a deeper knowledge of the devices and applications available to meet your specific needs. This can save you countless hours – and money — in the long run by pairing you more quickly with the right IoT solution.
Closing the IT knowledge gap
There is a considerable knowledge gap when it comes to IoT. The following areas tend to give companies the most trouble:
- Software – The learning curve for IoT software can be steep, and it will take time for employees to find their way around the applications well enough to effectively aggregate data points and create actionable data. Once you choose a platform, kick off training as soon as possible for users.
- Sensor technology – Understanding sensor technology poses challenges because many organizations look at devices from the perspective of their LAN or their wireless network instead of thinking about what kind of data they need to capture. Don’t confine yourself. There are more than one or two ways to get the information you need. Start with the data and find a sensor for that.
Getting started with IoT
IoT implementations can be daunting because there is no clear-cut way to do anything. Every implementation is unique to the organization adopting it. But exploring what data could best improve your operations, finding the devices that make the most sense for your needs, and training your team in ways to extract the most value from those devices can give you a competitive advantage that’s hard to match.