Be prepared to change platforms in the long term if more suitable products become available or vendors and technologies cease to be competitive.
The Internet of Things (IoT) demands a wide range of new technologies, many of which will take the enterprise into unfamiliar territory and demand new skills, reports Gartner.
Thus, enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders responsible for IoT strategy should develop a prioritised list of key IoT technologies based on digital business needs to create IT architectures, identify skills gaps, and plan recruiting and sourcing.
One of these technologies is the IoT platform, according to a Gartner report written by analyst Nick Jones.
The term refers to a software suite that provides a range of functions required by typical IoT systems.
These may include provisioning and management of endpoints, protocol conversion, application development, data ingestion and management, event stream processing, analytics, visualisation, cybersecurity, networking, communications, workflow and business process management, a developer studio, and integration adapters to connect to enterprise systems.
Modern IoT platforms can support sophisticated IoT architectures involving digital twins and processing distributed between edge devices, gateways and central systems.
These can be implemented on-premise or as cloud services. Examples include AWS IoT, Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, GE Predix, PTC ThingWorx and Siemens MindSphere.
The report notes IoT platforms will play a role in the implementation of business model reinvention, but can only do so once the organisation has addressed the fundamental challenge of creating a new business strategy.
No platform is suitable for all IoT applications, it states.
Cost can be a challenge as license fees could range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The report calls on enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders responsible for IoT to aim for rapid return on investment. They should also be prepared to change platforms in the long term if more suitable products become available or vendors and technologies cease to be competitive.
The IoT leaders should monitor current end emerging IoT technologies, and develop a prioritised list of key IoT technologies based on the organisation's digital business needs.
They should also understand and contribute to the development of the organisation's digital business strategy.
“Many technology decisions will be influenced by future business requirements and a good understanding of potential digital business directions will result in more robust architectures,” the report states.
Vendor management is critical.
Gartner advises reviewing the viability of key IoT technology vendors every six months or whenever a significant event occurs such as an acquisition or strategic change of direction.
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