IT x (OT + IT) = IoT as a Service
Increasingly, the IT & OT spaces are converging with common IT principles around security, deployment and scalability. From this, we see an emergence of “IoT as a Service.”
As Internet of Things technology becomes increasingly accessible, companies may find that they lose control of their IoT projects – and the data.
IoT sensors are now easily accessible by any organization wanting to consume and analyze some internal data. But these “connected Things” can get out of hand as more and more departments set up proofs of concept or individual projects. Project silos operating outside of IT policies can threaten a company’s integrity.
For IoT to be effective, it needs to be a part of the IT infrastructure of an organization. The business value is derived from the sum of the infrastructure and processes that enable business decisions to be actioned.
What often happens is that at the OT (operational technology) level the IT infrastructure is dedicated to serving a purpose; this could be the DCS (digital control system) of a production line, or the remote diagnostics of a connected car. The IT is providing a function in the OT space and is often governed by different IT policies – such as data cannot enter the public network as it may contain the process formulae as in pharmaceutical process engineering.
This could be as simple as informing a maintenance engineer to be deployed by an email from a CRM system, triggering a payment invoice, or updating a maintenance schedule. It could also provide access via an API that means a third-party system can get notification of a shipment in logistics and the perishable goods are still safe to pass on.
Increasingly, the IT & OT spaces are converging with common IT principles around security, deployment and scalability. From this, we see an emergence of “IoT as a Service.” In other words, in the space between IT & OT there is a need for IoT services to be deployed within the organization’s own IT infrastructure and managed centrally. This makes much more sense than having them as separate with disparate IoT silos of data that need to be migrated higher up in the IT process.
The concept of an IoT platform acting as middleware is where the IoT landscape is transforming businesses for rapid innovation and very fast ROI. The obvious benefit is they do not have to build the key components for the IoT infrastructure to support connected Things from scratch.
The value to your business increases with early adoption of IoT as a Service, as you are able to leverage the IoT ecosystem and your own in-house expertise. This internal solution also enables the IoT platform to manage other IoT niche solutions by treating them as additional data streams.
This “as a service” concept has been adopted by many software and cloud companies to take the opex burden away from organizations – which want to embrace a capex model.
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