Updated: Jan 20
The Internet of Things (IoT) embodies the fantastic opportunity for many manufacturers and startups — forecasters predict that 20.4 billion IoT devices will be connected by 2020, with users and businesses spending $2.9 trillion on connected devices.
It’s furthermore the risk of potential hazards and pitfalls. A successful IoT product lauch can help your company shift from a traditional manufacturer to a market leader service provider, allowing you to competently drive recurring revenue. A bad IoT security breach or product launch can cost your company millions.
Cisco and Deloitte estimate that nearly 75% of all new IoT devices fail after launch. I already seen lot of proof of concepts and IoT projects fail because of very obvious reasons as well. There are numerous factors that contribute to this, including a lack of clear product value, security concerns, and poor data visibility and poor communication plans and have a compelling expansion strategy.
Luckily, all these problems are preventable, especially if you partner with consultants and experts in the field, with extensive experience drawing actionable insights from data and securing data in the cloud.
As a business, you need to follow specific guidelines and strategy to be able to become successful as IoT space is still in it's infancy, especially in APAC region.
Starting from finding a real problem and have a real solution for that through technology is your first challenge. Product development lifecycle in this context is complex and needs lot of attention to details and collaboration with your customers. So, listen to them carefully. Do not solve problems that do not exist. Make sure the solution has real unique value for customers.
Ensure all original requirements are intact and aligned with the resulting final product. For every feature,use an appropriate test case that’s reviewed and approved by all key stakeholders on the product team. Each step in this activity must be carefully documented and recorded for easy reference and historical context, should issues arise later.
Without strong requirements it’s easy for engineers to begin fixing what they perceive as current or future problems. This often leads to over-engineered products that—in the case of an IoT product—can inadvertently affect key features such as connectivity or security. It can also lead to NPI delays because engineers set out to solve a problem that wasn’t in scope.
The other challenge is how the implementation take place and where you are actually install solution. Is this a cloud SaaS based software that aggregates edge data and will apply analytics? Is there an AI module involve to automate some of the processes? Is this a remote installation or we are talking about an end to end deployment in metro areas. There are lots of assumptions that you need to make to make sure that the infrastructure is ready to go.
The nature of IoT is to involve many manufacturer to develop a product. You perhaps have more than 3 manufacturers and that needs strong project management skills.
IoT without internet connectivity does not mean anything. There is definitely layer 3 internet connectivity even if you are targeting black boxed remote environments like mines, ships etc. This needs to be considered and how it is going to impact your design.
As I mentioned before, data is becoming the most important assets of organizations. The way that you will handle data will become one of the most important factors when it comes to your IoT projects. The amount of generated data, where they are going to be analyzed and cleansed, and so on.
Security will be very crucial aspect of your design. Without a doubt, this will be your number one challenge when it comes to edge computing and IoT space. Without security, there will be no business.
Make sure that you are having a proper strong case studies and PR strategy in place. Nothing beats case study specially in B2B space to spread your successes.
IoT products are complex. In addition to hardware, make sure IoT devices include secure, fast connectivity, robust device management and sophisticated data management.
It is absolutely important to have a set product roadmap in place. Customers need to know where they are and where they are going. An IoT roadmap needs to show the product direction as well as the impact of new features in a way that makes sense for all stakeholders. Your stakeholders might be from Sales, Marketing, the Executive team, Engineering, and more. They all have different needs and different levels of understanding of how the product is put together.
Because of this complexity, managing an IoT product is similar to managing a portfolio of products, with the distinction that ALL the products in your portfolio need to work together to form a cohesive solution. Not an easy task.
Finally, when it comes to launch your product, you want to make sure all standards and certificates are in place and your solution is compliant with government or carrier requirements. You need to be across all regulations and certificates across all those targeted countries. These regulations are often set by the governing bodies such as Bluetooth SIG, WiFi Alliance, NFC Forum, Zigbee Alliance, Thread Group, Lora Alliance, Sigfox, DASH7 Alliance, 3GPP, Multifire Alliance, Weightless SIG, WAV IoT, DevLab, Z-Wave Alliance, OmniAir V2X and many more.