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The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has emerged as a transformative force for industry. The nature of IoT means a single organisation can have multiple independent IoT initiatives. If not managed properly, this situation can lead to inefficient, siloed solutions, competing for budget and resources. To avoid missed opportunities, IT professionals and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) must work to centralise their organisation’s IoT strategy. This article will explore five compelling reasons IT should embrace a centralised IoT strategy, helping streamline operations, reduce costs, and drive long-term success.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) boasts applications and utilities across many industries, harnessing data, connectivity, automation, and analytics to optimise operations and yield business advantages.
The industry-agnostic nature of IoT means multiple business units within the same organisation can benefit from an IoT strategy. Business leaders have an incredible opportunity to deliver benefits from IoT solutions across their organisations, but only if managed correctly.
Unfortunately, individual departments tend to embark on their own IoT journeys driven by their unique objectives, needs, and perceptions of how to tackle IoT challenges. Some opt to purchase off-the-shelf IoT solutions, while others try to build bespoke solutions tailored to their precise requirements from scratch. Others recognise the wisdom in a hybrid approach – the “Buy and Build” model – which leverages the capabilities of a trusted IoT platform to build their solution.
This fragmented approach to IoT creates siloed solutions within an organisation. These solutions serve their immediate purposes well but pose challenges when scaling the business or integrating the various solutions.
In the face of these challenges, IT can play a pivotal role in creating a coherent and scalable IoT strategy. The key lies in introducing consistency into the organisation’s IoT endeavours by establishing a centralised IoT strategy within the business.
Creating a centralised IoT strategy within a sprawling organisation can seem like a mountain to climb. Fortunately, there’s a pragmatic solution—the 80/20 approach, epitomised by the “Buy and Build” model. This approach calls for outsourcing the complex task of building a comprehensive IoT platform (the “eighty per cent”) and investing the company’s valuable time in creating custom solutions that deliver value for the business.
Here are five benefits of centralising your IoT strategy and investing in an IoT platform.
Outsourcing the core IoT platform infrastructure to a specialised provider, such as the Davra Platform, removes the significant burden of creating and delivering a centralised IoT solution. A full-stack IIoT platform offers fully managed services, encompassing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS), Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) components and a suite of prebuilt IoT services and tools.
By doing so, organisations eliminate the need to invest heavily in non-differentiating efforts such as database administration or server tuning. These tasks, while necessary, don’t set you apart from the competition. Instead, you can channel your resources and energy into accelerating your IoT strategies and focus on what truly differentiates your businesses. You also get to market three to four times faster than if you were to build a solution from scratch.
A centralised IoT strategy offers significant scalability advantages. Organisations that create a product portfolio on a platform like Davra benefit from consistent architecture, delivery methods, and support practices. This consistency allows your team to re-use knowledge gained from previous solutions, resulting in quicker development and deployment of new IoT solutions.
Research from McKinsey found that companies need to implement multiple IoT use cases to maximise impact. They found that leading companies implemented 80% more IoT applications on average. IoT comes with a learning curve, but this investment pays off as you build up more and more use cases.
However, this can only be achieved with a centralised IoT strategy, as your engineers benefit from the efficiencies of similar data architectures and numerous other synergies with each new offering. DevOps tools and practices also become standardised, simplifying the management of applications across the organisation.
Support patterns will remain consistent across multiple applications. This uniformity extends to tools like logging and monitoring, ensuring the ability to detect and respond to issues in a standardised manner.
This uniformity in processes and support patterns creates the opportunity to establish an IoT Center of Excellence (COE) within the IT function, enabling IT to become a valued business partner instead of merely a cost centre.
Managing multiple siloed IoT product vendors presents significant technical and political challenges. Vendors may have inconsistent APIs and integration layers and may be reluctant to share data with potential competitors. Additionally, supplier management can become burdensome.
Establishing a centralised IoT strategy on a single platform eliminates these challenges. The platform offers an open architecture, ensuring IoT solutions are highly extensible and inherently interoperable.
Inherent integration of datasets across solutions occurs because they share the same format and are accessible via identical API calls. Your business can fully realise the cross-pollination benefits of IoT solutions without encountering any friction.
For organisations operating in regulated environments, compliance is a critical concern. Managing compliance across various IoT vendors or internal solutions can be inconsistent and challenging. The Davra Platform addresses this issue by providing ISO-compliant and SOC-2-compliant controls out of the box.
By building solutions on a compliant platform like Davra, organisations inherit these controls, ensuring that their IoT solutions are continuously auditable in a consistent manner. This simplifies compliance adherence and reduces the complexity of managing compliance across disparate IoT solutions.
A centralised IoT strategy also facilitates applying organisation-specific DevSecOps IT policies. For example, you can connect your build pipelines for deploying applications. These pipelines can incorporate policies regarding code repository locations, automated test coverage, accessibility standards, and security scans (including OWASP, WAS, static container scans, etc.).
When all IoT solution builders use these pipelines, IT gains a consistent way to monitor and enforce IT criteria, ensuring a unified approach to information security and quality across the entire IoT strategy.
A centralised IoT strategy built on an IIoT platform increases efficiency by outsourcing IoT infrastructure, freeing resources for strategic pursuits. Building on a consistent architecture promotes extensibility and interoperability, eliminating challenges posed by siloed vendors. Moreover, centralisation simplifies compliance management and ensures organisations enforce IT policies consistently.
These advantages empower your organisation to accelerate IoT strategies, facilitate compliance adherence, and maintain a unified approach to information security and quality.
If you’re an IT professional in the equipment manufacturing, mining, or transportation industries, it’s time to consider the benefits of centralising your IoT strategy. Contact Davra to explore how a centralised approach can transform your IoT initiatives, making IT a business partner rather than just a cost centre. Embrace the future of IoT with Davra and experience the power of a centralised strategy.
Davra is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform provider that assists companies in creating customer-oriented, revenue-boosting business models through enterprise-grade IoT solutions. Davra has successfully helped numerous Fortune 500 companies centralise their IoT strategies, resulting in sustainable acceleration in time-to-value for their IoT solutions.
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