IoT 4 mins read

Get IT back into the IoT

The everything-as-a-service (XaaS) culture is pushing IT departments aside as business units go their own way on Internet of Things projects.

Marco Biegel Marco Biegel

The everything-as-a-service (XaaS) culture is pushing IT departments aside as business units go their own way on Internet of Things projects.  

Whereas easy and quick-bookable XaaS solutions are tempting for business units, their “DIY” approach is causing a growing “shadow IoT” problem for IT departments.

In fact, a recent report from Software AG and Beecham research into why IoT projects fail found that lack of company cohesion was a significant factor in IoT failure.

Just because an IoT application development is easy, it does not mean the IT department should be left out. Not only does IT want to get involved, it needs to be involved. Otherwise, your company will be swimming in a big soup of applications with no central monitoring or security auditing.

If you are working for a central IT department you may probably recognize this scenario and have been asking yourself “how do I get back into the game?”

When single solutions start growing and need to be transferred into productive environments, business domains often get overwhelmed by all the “little things” they were not aware of. Some of these “little things” are not so little, like scalability, security and openness. Often, business makes decisions based purely on the usability to solve their present problem.

Here is an example. Imagine you are a manufacturer of construction machines and have looked into different IoT use cases along the product lifecycle. One day your logistics department wants to track the transportation of produced goods, e.g. excavators, to the customer. They decide on a tracking solution with a low-cost throwaway GPS tracker to monitor the construction machine’s transportation path on a global scale. With this, they could give your customers a good indication of when the product will arrive. That could work well and is easy to apply.

Another day, the quality assurance department gets a lot of customer complaints about damages of new delivered excavators and suspects unprofessional transport handling by one of their partners. They decide to start monitoring the condition of the product during transportation.

Unfortunately, the low-cost tracking solution of the logistics department is a hardware-tied IoT solution and does not allow the extension through sensors or other devices, which could measure required properties like acceleration.

Therefore, the quality assurance department applies a more generic freight monitoring solution, supporting different types of tracking devices with extended monitoring functionality.

Get IT back into the game

Add to these, other departments building additional IoT solutions for remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, using a hyperscaler’s IoT offering to be flexible in terms of computing performance. The list of projects and solutions can go on and on – all separately with little knowledge of what the other departments are doing.

You will see issues in terms of openness, global distribution and overly complex tooling, for which you will have no answers as the projects were all done by the business units.

This is where IT comes in, as an appreciated central IoT service provider for your company. You can set up a flexible service model to deal with different kind of requirements and competencies of each department.

You will need to be really open in terms of interconnecting with already existing technologies (capturing shadow IoT). You will also need to provide your business users with a comprehensive tool set of IoT technologies. This will enable them and the IT department to implement future use cases and migrate existing ones by interconnecting different systems and devices.

You will take the workload of (not value-adding) activities away from your internal customers and act as reliable service provider dealing with providing the essential basics: an extendable, failsafe, secure and always up-to-date easy-to-use tool set as well as related support, training and consulting.Let us be your partner for setting up your truly connected enterprise – where IT is back in control, and shadow IoT disappears.

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