Challenges for IoT: Connectivity, protocols, funding

IoT faces technical and funding issues. Funding, however, could be surmountable with a change in approach.

Challenges for IoT: Connectivity, protocols, funding

Connectivity and protocols are the largest technical challenges business people face as they attempt to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) projects, according to a new report.

Those connectivity and protocol issue apparently come up in both planning and deployment, and then again in the analysis of IoT data, the study says.

The industry survey was performed in Europe recently by U.S.-based PLAT.ONE, a software and industrial solutions firm specializing in IoT development. The survey asked executives what kinds of trouble they experienced with IoT projects.

Support of unknown machine protocols turned out to be a big issue.

“The concern here is around future proofing and support to interoperate across the myriad of legacy, new and unknown machine protocols,” says Dr. John Bates, CEO of PLAT.ONE, in a press release.

Bates also says there’s a problem dealing with the data generated.

“Being able to ingest, combine and correlate data from any device that comes along is critical,” he says. “This is not something that traditional integration vendors know how to do and requires a completely new approach for the IoT era."

Analysis of data was a also big problem, according to the survey respondents. Twenty-one percent had a problem analyzing data, from a technical perspective.

IoT project trends

Some interesting trends surfaced in the study, too.

PLAT.ONE says it “investigated” IT infrastructure, technology requirements, business challenges and state of deployment. It found that 50 percent of all of the IoT projects that are being planned are related to connected products. Transport and logistics came second and made up 33 percent of the total.

Getting money for IoT projects is iffy, the study reveals. It found that although 72 percent of the business professionals said that they had “IoT projects in the planning stage,” just 9 percent have actual, funded projects on the go.

That low funding rate may reveal a disconnect between those wanting to develop IoT projects and those being asked to come up with the money. In other words: the bosses.

Substantiating the projects can be hard, the report suggests.

“Proving ROI” and “convincing key internal stakeholders that this is the right time” are business challenges that the developers said they faced.

But the lack of funding may be due to a wrong approach, Bates says.

Bates has used the term “thinganomics” in interviews—a word he invented, according to Computer Business Review. That word roughly means that because IoT devices are connected, and because one can remotely monitor usage, then pay-as-you-go charging models become possible. In addition, big data can be collected and sold back as analytics, and yields can be increased through smart monitoring, and so on.

In other words, he’s suggests that the way to approach these kinds of projects is not in a traditional sense, which might be hard to substantiate from a monetization point of view, but as a disruptive strategy—à la Uber et al.

It might be worth making sure you’re thinking like that if you’re one of the, as-yet, non-funded.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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