Over the past few years, IoT became a buzzword and it generated quite an excitement spanning well beyond the universe of tech enthusiasts. Major players have announced their overly optimistic predictions and marketing departments were, and still are, busy explaining what IoT is and why it is the next big thing for any business. “Embrace it or be left behind” – an old mantra was picked up, dusted off and presented as the ultimate truth. As with many things in life, one must use its own sound judgement to assess, if what is being presented as a certainty, isn’t just a mere distraction. Remaining focused on what is important, is what makes a difference and helps businesses progress – not just survive. Trying to evaluate which [IoT] technology or connectivity is better, without having a thorough understanding of what brings value to your business is as good as focusing on a moving target.
Having a Well-thought-out Business Case is a Must
Do your homework but keep in mind that if you do not have a compelling business case – no technology will help. If you have not yet assessed what your business needs and why, it will be difficult to find a technological solution which will create value out of nothing. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Machine Learning (ML) and Analytics “magic” are likely to end up costing you more than what was promised by a seasoned “sleight of hand” technology partner, effectively wiping out most of the value you were hoping to create.
Quality of Sensor Data
Once you complete your business case you are likely to notice, that a lot boils down to the quality of data you will acquire and feed to AI, ML and decision support systems. Sensor data acquisition is a critical part of the value chain. Good sensor data acquisition hardware is a result of the efforts of very talented engineers, who understand the theory behind designing electronics. But they are also capable of creating reliable, power efficient data acquisition devices, optimized for serial production and simple enough to work unattended, in harsh conditions, for extended periods of time. Contrary to certain marketing mantras, sensing the physical world is not a function of connectivity (and it will never be), but rather of quality of sensors and data acquisition hardware.
Simulating Value or the Cost of Almost Zero Cost
Without a compelling business case, you are likely to be tempted to simulate value by getting low cost sensors and hardware. In this case, you get what you pay for and will be forced to convince yourself and other decision makers, that technology “magic” will help. It never does, but if you keep investing in data cleansing, AI, ML, processing etc. you may achieve some results. The problem is, that little or no value will be created for your business.
At Evvos, our goal is to advise and help you gather quality sensor data by deploying our cost-effective, battery-powered sensor data acquisition products. We also assist you with integrating sensor data with your SCADA, ERP, CRM or your analytics platform of choice. So, if you have a compelling business case, let us get in touch.