Will IoT-as-a-Service Models Gain Critical Mass in 2020?
- Connected utilities. This is a huge IoT as a service use case. Smart metering at home enables a utilities company to provide more accurate readings and even when to service a neighborhood. Existing smart gas meters help natural gas suppliers address challenges such as unstable data transmission, high power consumption and even low metering success rates. To get to that point, however, connected meters need an architecture to support it, such as Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology to deliver security, wide coverage, massive connectivity and low power consumption—cost-effectively.
Other IoT as a Service offerings provide knowledge. For example, a major cloud provider offers IoT Central. This platform assists enterprises with the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) applications without the need for in-house expertise. Early adopters include ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Sandvik Coromant and Rolls-Royce.
These kinds of IoT-as-a-service models aim to make it easy to manage and deploy connected devices. You’ll experience central device management, including advanced rules and analytics, that’ll help you fix, update, and reconfigure devices. From there, IoT-aaS solution will further help you scale, and even monetize your connected ecosystem.
As great as handing over the keys to your connected devices might seem, there can be some challenges. First, you need to understand how data from these devices will traverse the cloud, the managed services partner and customers. If you’re in an industry subject to regulation, you’ll need to understand how your partner will manage transient data these devices generate. This will be a nonstarter if this company stores or processes personal health information or personally identifiable information unless it’s expressly able to do so. This also highlights the need for proper security measures to be applied to data. Validate your partner’s capabilities to manage growth, data integrity and business strategy moving forward. If this is an undertaking, understand how data is segmented, how networks are designed, and where data will be processed or stored. Remember, IoT devices are absolutely targets for the bad guys.
Another challenge is latency and performance. If your IoT-as-a-service provider processes data from devices, but doesn’t have a good edge platform or IoT-enabled architecture, you may confront performance and latency issues. Remember, some IoT devices require sub-millisecond, capabilities. Be sure your partner can handle your requirements.
I Want to Invest in IoT as a Service: Now What?
If this is an area your company wants to consider it will depend on your connected devices and your business approach. Here are some steps: