What are the challenges that a typical IoT deployment faces?

01 September 2016 by InVMA Ltd

The first challenge a business faces when it begins to think about the Internet of Things is to understand where the opportunity lies.

But once you have a strategy in place, where are the risks?

For me, there are three main risks in any deployment:

  • connectivity and interoperability,
  • security, and
  • acceptance.

 

Let’s tackle each one of them in turn.

Connectivity and Interoperability

One of the great strengths of the internet of things is the breadth of possibilities it invites us to imagine.

What if we could combine our automated irrigation system with live sensor data in the field and future weather forecasting?

What if we could continually improve our products by understanding how they perform in use?

But how do we connect this disparate sources of information? Each of the new devices, systems, data sources and products that make up the Internet of Things is likely to have some degree of its own proprietary technologies and specific communication protocols. In the absence of agreed standards, connecting these devices, therefore, will represent its own degree of complexity.

It’s here that we see one of the great strengths of the ThingWorx IoT platform.

And one of our primary reasons for partnering with them.

Interoperability between devices and machines is the biggest challenge facing the Industrial IoT – but is the key to implementing and realizing the value of Industrial IoT deployments. To address this, ThingWorx offers technology that can enable secure, reliable delivery of data across the public domain at a large scale and delivers Industrial Connectivity via Kepware’s industry-leading communications platform, the most complete solution for device-to-cloud interoperability.

Security

When every device is connected, every device becomes a vulnerability, or potential point of attack.

As NSA Hacker-in-Chief explained at a San Fransisco security conference this year, and was quoted in Wired: “Don’t assume a crack is too small to be noticed, or too small to be exploited. If you do a penetration test of your network and 97 of things pass the test but three esoteric things fail, don’t think they don’t matter. Those are the ones that the NSA and other nation-state attackers will seize on. We need that first crack, that first seam. And we’re going to look and look and look for that esoteric kind of edge case to break open and crack in.”

No business wants their product to be that source of potential vulnerability.

For companies producing smart connected products, then, security is no longer an afterthought. It can no longer by only the responsibility of IT.
Security becomes fundamental to a good product.

To address this challenge, InVMA has chosen to partner with Device Authority. It helps its customers to simplify the process of establishing a robust, end-to-end security architecture within the IoT and deliver efficiencies at scale through security automation.

Acceptance

Acceptance for any IoT deployment is two-fold: internal and external.

Thinking about customer acceptance – through user-friendly interfaces and exploiting customers need for competitive advantage – is the “easy” part.

Acceptance here must be weighed equally with acceptance within the business. This goes beyond user experience – and might involve some pretty serious change management as the business rethinks business models and competitive strategy.

Perhaps there is a fourth challenge here too, where the challenges of security and acceptance intersect: which devices and apps am I going to let my nice secure devices talk to?

InVMA has experience guiding businesses through the risks and pitfalls in order to achieve the benefits of the Internet of Things. If you’d like our advice, why not arrange a free one-day consultation session with us?

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