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  • Writer's pictureAlvarium Technologies

IoT Thinking Person’s Guide

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

You're thinking ...

“What do I need to know about the Internet of Things?”

And it overwhelms you. Not only that, you've been through costly hype before and aren’t so dumb to jump on a bandwagon with nothing more than buzzwords.

“I need to learn about IoT quickly. To speak with some authority.”

But you don’t have time to sort through complex whitepapers, blogs, courses or things that may get you up to speed.

Can I afford it? Why don’t I just use my own people?

Glib, but accurate: you can’t NOT afford it. When you roll it all up for an approach, you have to bring in greater expertise to work with your team, to get ahead.

What are others doing that separate them from the pack?

  • They’re talking cost and value for money. Leaders often tell employees to look at technology investment as if they were spending their own money. When we take that pragmatic, most people would start looking at how to save money as opposed to making it.

  • They’re leveraging what they got. For IoT, the installed base of operations, customers, pipelines, shipping containers, street lamps, or whatever, represents the very nature of what leaders are trying to use better or craft into something more. Specific for their vertical market.

  • They’re thinking data first. Today, top leaders manage the very nature of the data that drives their business. This is called “defensible data,” a term that describes the unique competitive advantage data under their auspice provides.

Where is the best place to start, to measure performance?

For IoT, it’s the data. Moving beyond device thinking and searching for value across the network is the pathway for success. Quite frankly, sometimes diagramming the data workflow is all it takes to unlock IoT insights from your operations or customers.

First things first for IoT

It’s not difficult, but it can be complicated. There’s a difference. Consider these ideas to start:

  • It’s a long haul – do it right. Too much will be written about IoT for the next few years. So, get ready for the long journey discovering what works and what doesn’t. Take a mindset to learn and grow.

  • Start with a baseline architecture view. You can get knee-deep in technology or create complex business rationales around IoT, but the best place to start is with an architectural look at how to imagine IoT and then create a starting point for real payoff.

  • Place yourself in one of the six areas of IoT. Force yourself to decide on your primary focus. Here are your choices: hardware, device management, data workflow, analytics, network & cloud, or security.

  • Decide on what business outcome you are solving for. It’s not the technology that matters, it’s what you want to get done – save money, enable connections or both. This is the obvious basis of value and ROI.

What’s IoT?

  • It’s a network. IoT is a network of physical objects that provide a global infrastructure based upon data and communication standards.

  • It’s a ton of devices, all at the edge. But, now with smart management among the entire device pool.

  • It’s a network of sensors, from wearable to mobile to fixed, all dotting the landscape with specific needs for each vertical market they serve.

  • It’s a way to get more data that is related to other data set, that ultimately drives analytics and AI.


Now, what aspect of IoT to focus on?

Remember. Pick one to start the journey, then the focus will be finding the value and ROI against the investment. Then the architecture can begin.

Now, think about how expertise and consulting can help you.

Good consultants provide a lot more than information; they have a flexible interplay among the elements of technology, strategy and business goals. In order to start, they ask questions with a true collaborative approach. If they’re good, they won’t prolong this process. Instead they will form pillars of understanding for the client. Because IoT is not difficult, but is complicated, this is important.

  1. Information: What do you need as baseline information. How does the data from the sensor provide you that first understanding?

  2. Expertise: When you get the data, what do you need to do with it? Do you have the expertise to manage it and what can your team do itself and what needs to be outsourced

  3. Insights: When you get the information, then how will that impact the ROI and value of what you are doing. How quickly and confidently do you need insights from the information?

  4. Execution: What are the near term success factors and long term implications for investment. What is needed in the short term deliverable and the long tail service implementation and execution.

About Alvarium

The Alvarium team represents best of breed thinking and expertise. With a deep commitment to both business, system and data architecture, Alvarium sets foundations for smart leaders and their teams toward success. The hallmark of the Alvarium approach is speed with a focus on cost. Alvarium believes leaders do have a vision of where their business needs to move, but lack focused resource where expertise is at a premium. Alvarium fills that gap in a comprehensive approach.


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