IoT for All

by Elizabeth Elkins

As IoT moves from a cutting-edge differentiator to a mission-critical business requirement, the solution development to support this proliferation is occurring at an accelerated pace. A recent report from Verizon supports this assertion:

  • 73 percent of executives are researching or currently launching IoT applications
  • IoT growth is expected to reach 35 percent per year through 2020
  • B2B uses can generate 70 percent of the potential value enabled by IoT

The need for IoT to drive modern business objectives is clear, but a common quandary many organizations face is how to establish an infrastructure that will enable efficient and cost-effective launches, maintenance, and updates for an IoT application (or applications) in a timely manner. To be sure, building such an IoT ecosystem has historically been an expensive venture.

The market recognizes that innovation is driven from businesses of all sizes and sectors, and has therefore responded with solutions that reduce both barriers to entry as well as inflated R&D investments. A new wave of turnkey integrated IoT services allow organizations across the spectrum to quickly turn concepts into business drivers, without the costly delay to market that comes with blank slate development and deployment approaches.

IoT History
During the early stages of IoT, the technology was available to a limited few. Typically, IoT was an asset used only by those large enough to build the necessary infrastructure to support the application from the ground up – typically implementations with a minimum of 2,000-2,500 deployed assets.

These companies would source every component related to their IoT application: hardware, software, security, network connectivity, etc. Additionally, these companies would employee dedicated staff to address technical issues, basic maintenance, and updates to deliver reliable and evolving solutions to the market.

While this approach to building an IoT infrastructure is very expensive, owning all of the intellectual property and maintaining a reputation as a tech innovator can be an invaluable and irreplaceable aspect of an organization’s brand. Given the scale of the IoT application being implemented, investing in additional staff or third-parties to build and maintain it makes sense.

But what about everyone else?

The need and feasibility gap
For most organizations, the capital requirements to build necessary infrastructure around an IoT application can quickly outpace their budgets or eclipse potential near-term Return on Investment. Costs soar even further when maintenance, updates, security and emergency IT support are factored into the overall solution requirements.

Recognizing this clear impediment, the market initially responded with the availability of off-the-shelf components from multiple solution providers to build the platform. This availability made it easier to get an IoT solution up and running, but this model wasn’t without drawbacks.

Organizations did not have to build assets themselves, but they did have to research multiple vendors to ensure they were making wise purchasing decisions. Further, they introduced resource intense processes to contract with and manage relationships with a number of partners. While it was easier and less expensive to launch IoT, costs were still too high and the task too daunting.

Integration is key
Within the last year, there has been an intensified focus to give organizations of all sizes affordable access to everything necessary to launch an IoT application from a single provider. This new trend represents a plug-and-play approach to IoT by bundling hardware, software, connectivity, IT support, maintenance, management and other services into a single solution.

This market trend is putting the power of IoT in the hands of more organizations and allowing them to focus on creating the application instead of building infrastructure. The benefits of this new model are clear:

  • Speed of Implementation: The marketplace moves swiftly, and implementing an IoT application that keeps pace with the speed of business is critical. Organizations can dedicate their attention to their game-changing application. Once it is ready, the application can be launched almost immediately.
  • Technical Support and Revisions: All applications launch as a first version, and require updates over time. Integrated IoT infrastructure offerings not only help launch the application, but help keep it running and scale as the application evolves.
  • Certification: Most countries have their own in-country certification for wireless solutions (the FCC in the U.S., for example), which requires an IoT connectivity environment to be compliant or run the risk of being shut down. Further, carriers have their own certification requirements for products that utilize their network. . Routers and modules in an integrated IoT infrastructure arrive certified, requiring no additional actions prior to use.

The possibilities of IoT are limitless, but they can only be realized by widening the window to adoption. As organizations now have a more cost effective and time-efficient opportunity to launch their innovative ideas in the IoT space, they can quickly keep pace with competitors and continue to drive new and exciting ways to utilize the technology. In a market clamoring to connect, analyze and monetize the many “things” in the Internet of Things, accessibility to innovation and deployment paths in this space is a winning proposition for all involved.

Elizabeth Elkins is the EVP of product management and product marketing at KORE.

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