With as much buzz as there is about IoT and its many benefits, there is surprisingly little information available on how to successfully deploy a large-scale IoT project. Many businesses struggle to know where to even start. Some of the many challenges you’ll need to navigate when building and deploying your IoT ecosystem include various skill set requirements, the complexities that come with large-scale device deployments, or unforeseen connectivity challenges. Here’s a step-by-step blueprint you can follow, with some helpful evaluation questions and suggestions to accompany each step of the process.
Simply stated, an IoT deployment is the process of setting up an IoT ecosystem from scratch. Given the multilayered complexity of IoT, it’s not an easy undertaking, so you’ll see many articles about the high level of IoT failures. People who haven’t attempted an IoT deployment before don’t always understand just how complex it can be to implement one. But before you get discouraged, it’s important to understand that an IoT deployment is a process. If you follow the steps in the process and dedicate the necessary time and resources to them, you substantially increase your chances of success. Despite the challenges, implementing IoT solutions provides incredible opportunities, so it’s definitely worth considering for your business, especially if you have a roadmap to do it the right way.
Though the details of implementing a successful IoT deployment may vary by project, the general steps you’ll need to take and the order of implementation will not. As you work on the deployment, pay close attention to each step to ensure nothing gets overlooked.
An IoT implementation starts well before the technology is chosen. Before making any technology decisions, the business needs to clarify what they are trying to accomplish. This is done by establishing a business case, which includes setting business objectives, key metrics, and indicators to measure against; determining use cases; identifying target markets; evaluating business processes; and assembling a team of stakeholders.
Some examples of business cases would be:
Once you understand your business case and objectives, it’s time to turn your attention to the technology. Step two involves thinking through the technical challenges you need to avoid or overcome with your IoT system. Here are some helpful questions to ask as you go through this step:
As you’re selecting the technology for your IoT system, make sure to consider device management 101:
Keep in mind that the success of an IoT system depends as much on ongoing management as it does on the initial setup.
While selecting your hardware and technology, you should also consider the cost implications of your choices. Things to consider are the hardware, connectivity, and framework choices balanced with your particular use case(s).
Another aspect of hardware to consider is certification. The hardware is required to be certified, and whether it’s already certified or not will impact the cost of the hardware itself. Here are some links to certification resources from major domestic carriers to get you started:
If you are interested in deploying your products internationally, contact us for certification requirements for our international carrier partners which include KPN, Telefonica, Rogers and Vodafone.
The connectivity partner(s) you choose can make all the difference in the success or failure of your IoT ecosystem. There’s a lot to navigate in this area, and many challenges and hurdles you’ll need to overcome. Here are some of the considerations you should factor into your decision when choosing your connectivity partner(s).
Before you deploy your IoT system, test it to ensure it meets the expectations you set in your business case. Testing should be both internal and external to your company. You’ll want to do market validation and product validation or QA. Once you’re satisfied with the results, you’re ready to go live.
You’re not finished once you deploy your IoT system. To ensure the system’s effectiveness, you need to continue monitoring results with an eye to improvement. As you do, consider the evolution of your IoT ecosystem, including end-of-life processes, next-generation product planning, new feature development and rollout, and more. As you learn and your system evolves, consider new business cases with new features and billing methods.
While challenges are sure to arise, following the right roadmap will help you enjoy a successful IoT deployment. For even greater assurance, you can get help along the way from a company like Zipit. We walk our customers through the deployment process step by step.
Explore how Zipit’s customers are growing their businesses.
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