Rapid research and development cycles and the ability to design solutions quickly to meet customer uses are crucial to provide commercially viable Internet of Things (IoT) services and solutions in the fast-evolving IoT ecosystem, says information and communications technology consulting and services company Vox cloud and managed services executive head Craig Freer.
Similar to other disruptive technologies, the first point of departure must be to address business use cases and solve pain points, he emphasises.
“The solutions must make commercial sense to be viable and to add the expected value for users. However, the IoT environment is constantly evolving with new devices and use cases appearing almost daily.”
This requires that companies providing IoT platforms and services be able to develop and deploy IoT solutions quickly, as well as be able to adapt clients’ IoT solutions to meet new uses or include new devices.
Most IoT adoptions are progressive, with clients’ uses becoming more advanced as the benefits are proven. This, once again, drives the need for rapid development and agile reaction to changing client demands.
Vox has built a team of IoT developers that can build and deploy IoT systems within days for most use cases, and their constant work, research and development also bolsters the company’s ability to leverage new devices and to meet new demands from customers as the environment evolves, explains Freer.
“One of our customers’ use cases started as a simple anti-tampering system. The customer then changed the system to provide asset tracking and monitoring. Even this is evolving further and has become a condition monitoring and automated maintenance alert system.”
The rental space, for example, is mirroring this pattern of evolving use cases, with the telemetry from rental units being used to evaluate how well the units were cared for during use and to automatically manage billing for excess time if the units are not returned in time.
Similarly, IoT systems have been deployed at farms and in the agricultural industry to reduce and prevent stock theft and to manage equipment, which enhances productivity.
However, more complex agricultural use cases include checking animals’ heart rates and temperatures to identify ill animals up to two days ahead of the appearance of visible symptoms, allowing the farmers to isolate and treat the animals.
“This leads to preventative and pre-emptive approaches to animal husbandry, helping to reduces costs and losses, as well as improve the health of the herd.”
Much like cloud services, the true benefits of IoT are gained by gradual adoption and uses to address specific commercial and business needs. Innovative uses are added to effective IoT systems, called a penetrate-and-radiate deployment model, he says.
“The benefit of a team that is responsive to and engages with clients to develop a bespoke system to address their specific needs without adding unnecessary costs is that we can also serve as strategic advisors to clients,” he explains.
The consultative and strategic advice approach illustrated by its IoT team and services fits into the company’s strategy of serving as a specialist and strategic consultant and turnkey service provider, concludes Freer.