How Your IoT Platform Supports Your IoT Strategy
I applaud anyone currently considering how the IoT can transform their company and their approach to competition. This is what every industrial and consumer product company should be doing right now. While helping companies through the early stages of developing IoT strategies we’ve recognized a common challenge. Teams can get lost in the excitement of enabling their first “thing” and lose focus on their long-term vision and the value they can extract from streaming data. We get it! The IoT is exciting. That is why we always coach our clients to select an IoT platform (software) that allows them to quickly and easily develop applications that present valuable, digestible information to employees and customers – whether or not a role or data stream was part of the initial strategy.
This week provided me with a front row seat to unexpected value from streaming data. While working on an IoT proof of concept for a client, my team was able to refine a data stream and deliver a new application to an audience that was not part of the initial scope of the project. The only reason we were able to create this new application without charging an additional fee is because we selected ThingWorx, a solution by PTC as the application/mashup development tool. Thingworx helps teams create new applications in minutes.
I try to spend the majority of my time working on IoT strategies and how they can transform companies and competition. My background in engineering and software development provides me with a unique view into the time spent making things smart — providing sensor networks, communication layers, and ultimately enabling heretofore unseen analytics in real-time on remote products. The project the Connect Services team and I were working on this week involved developing mashups, which stemmed from earlier strategy work and team alignment. Mashups are the collection and presentation of data from smart things and systems enabling real-time business awareness and decision-making. For this project, we had already developed storyboards for the apps that would enable core product and service differentiation. Everyone was on board and excited.
Once the proof of concept device was wired and streaming data, we saw a whole new role that would benefit from the data that was streaming. Previously, the engineers would have been left hanging and the data would have been left alone and isolated. This is because developing an extra application for ancillary roles would have taken the project well off track. Leveraging ThingWorx as our application development environment, we were able to build a concept from scratch in literally seconds. What’s really cool is that it didn’t take any code at all either, just drag, drop, save, and we were in business. The concept made sense and in literally a couple of hours (not days or weeks) we had created an entirely new app and use case for the data. We were able to refine the data in real-time and create a whole new monitoring experience. Again, this was done without coding, just simply drag and drop.
So, here’s my recommendation — make sure your IoT platform supports your IoT strategy. And what’s more, be sure the platform you select is a tool that is flexible, fast, and fun — like ThingWorx. You will likely find more and more ways to consume, refine, and benefit from the data your connected products and enterprise produce just because it’s easy to do. And this, after all, is what your IoT platform should do — it should enable your existing business initiatives and accelerate your business initiatives.
EAC Connect Services is here to help you develop your IoT strategy, build and connect your proof of concept, and select the appropriate platform. Let us be your partner in the ever-changing world of the IoT. Please let us know if we can help you transform your business and help you beat your competition.