The IoT and Data Analytics solutions cover a set of technologies that can be applied to different market segments and originate names that are well-know such as: connected industry, smart cities, and precision agriculture. The main objective of these technologies is to provide the ability to collect data from devices, machines, objects, plants, animals and other “things” to provide valuable information and support companies to increase productivity, operational efficiency and creation of new business models.
As illustrated in illustration 1, the sensors collect data automatically and send it to an analytics platform that performs calculations, correlations and application of artificial intelligence algorithms to provide insights for companies’ decision making.
Every day more and more data are generated by “things”, driven by the constant price reduction of sensors, energy efficiency and data storage. In addition, new ways and algorithms to analyze large amounts of data (big data) are appearing on the market.
Recent research by Gartner showed that IoT and Analytics are becoming topics with higher priority for companies, and that investments in this area will grow 12% in 2020 when compared to 2019, as shown below:
End-to-end IoT and Analytics solutions, which generate a positive impact for companies, are generally multivendor: made up of different suppliers of sensors, microcontrollers, communication technologies, cloud services and applications.
Companies that choose to develop these solutions with internal resources, generally have large implementations plans, have almost all the necessary know-how and their goal is strategically position IoT in the company. Generally, these companies choose this path for cases where a high-degree of specification is necessary and there are no options available on the market.
However, new technologies related to IoT and Analytics are emerging all the time and the market is faced with challenges to understand which options are the most interesting to meet the needs and thus successfully move forward with these initiatives.
|Some of these challenges are mentioned below:|
1. Mapping the requirement and setting the expectations: it is essential to engage leaders or managers from the areas involved in the project to guarantee the necessary financial resources, the engagement of professionals and to define a business case adhering to the company’s strategy;
2. Cultural changes: these changes will be necessary due to the need for greater interaction between different areas and the adoption of agile project management techniques;
3. Professional training: even if companies already have professionals with knowledge in IoT and Analytics technology, it is very likely that there are gaps related to specific topics, necessary integrations, and operation support;
4. Interface with suppliers: considering that the solutions are multivendor, companies must be prepared to establish support contracts with different levels of SLA and different suppliers, which can generate a costly operational effort;
One option to support companies on this journey is outsourcing through companies with experience in customizing IoT and Analytics solutions. This option generally reduces costs, risks and accelerates the project implementation as the partner company is responsible for managing technological issues and the various interfaces with suppliers, allocating trained resources, designing and implementing a solution that meets customer expectations.
But what is the best model to be followed by companies? Invest in an internal structure to develop your own solutions or hire a company specialized in the solution?
Usually the best way is a composition between the two models. It is very likely that it will be necessary to customize existing solutions, as there are no ready solutions on the market that meet 100% of the needs and particularities of each customer.
Performing a “four hands” job using a company with experience and the appropriate methodology to work with IoT projects increases the probability of success and return on investment. In one hand, companies bring the necessary internal challenges and objectives, and, on the other hand, the consultancy company specialized in IoT and Analytics reviews the strategic aspects and directs the most appropriate technologies to meet customer requirements.
Listed below are the main benefits of companies that delegate their IoT projects to companies specialized in this solution. This survey was carried out by IoT Analytics, a European research company specialized in this area, and reveals the importance of assessing the option of establishing a partnership with specialists, as shown in illustration 3.
The main reason for delegating a project to a specialized company is related to the speed to make such an initiative a reality (59%). An IoT project, from the idealization of the solution to the implementation takes a long time, but research has shown that with the support of a specialized company this time can be reduced to less than a year.
Second is the need for companies to cover important gaps to be successful in projects of this nature. Specialized consultants in IoT and Analytics can bring the necessary technical knowledge and complementary experience, supporting customers in a complete understanding of the components involved, communication protocols and end-to-end IoT applications.
In sequence, “Getting new customer access” and “Building digital business models” correspond to 51% and are aligned with the need of companies to seek new business models related to IoT.
In times of pandemic, it is probable that the only plausible justification for making investments in digitization and innovations is related to significant cost savings, especially for small and medium-sized companies whose budget may have been compromised. This current crisis scenario corroborates the need of partnerships with experienced companies to reduce risks and accelerate digital adoption. Dynalogic Smart Solutions can act as a unified provider of end-to-end IoT and Analytics solutions, positioning the most appropriate technologies for each customer, reducing risks and accelerating implementation:
Through a differentiated approach, the professionals engaged in each project, design the solutions based on the experience of similar projects and the particularities of each customer. In addition, Dynalogic has the Smart Insights platform that processes the data collected from “things” and displays the valuable information in a simple and intuitive way to support customers in decision making.