Successfully implement and deploy large IoT installations and intelligent services, planning is of the essence, and accepting that things will not always go as expected even with the best planning. Planning for iterations is the key of the essence. Planning to be ready for change is how to guarantee success.
It’s easy to get caught up in the possibilities of “digital transformation” and “Smart” and the potential to transform the unstructured data from “dumb systems” into productivity gains and profits.
Smart IoT implementation is far more complex than installing sensors and learning the ins and outs of a new analytics program. One poorly-configured element, a missed update, or an outdated piece of equipment makes the AI provide bad results and can provide attackers with entry points to compromise the whole system.
We have five core pieces to evaluate when we at Internet of Everything plan out IoT installations: Hardware, comms, protocols, environment, security, organizational structure.
Will you need real-time results, or is the data to information refinement scheduled? Are you going to use AI to predict maintenance issues? How can we protect and secure the sensor devices? What about your legacy equipment? Is there any? Will there be a need for custom hardware development, or can it be off the shelf or just customized? There are a lot of questions needed to be evaluated to choose the right hardware approach. We at IoE will work with you and your team to ensure that the right hardware strategy is selected.
Communications & Protocols
After we have developed a sense of what devices are included in your system, we will need to consider how to configure those devices and how they’ll communicate. Communication must be both consistent and secure. We also need to think about what external protocols will be required:
· How will you communicate with the devices?
· Is Wi-Fi enough, or will we require 900MHz or even 5G?
· How will devices communicate with each other, mesh network, star configurations, pure P2P, or pure centralized? How does the system connect to the Internet?
· What if the Internet goes down?
· Does the IoT system even need the Internet?
· How large is the installation, and what will the data rate requirements be?
Sustainability and Energy efficiency, wasteful computing, and AI are risks that create hidden costs as the system will work with them, just not optimized for your needs. What are the protocol level security requirements, NIST, FIPS? Cryptographic modules?
Deployment environment considerations
We will need to consider everything from the system location to any potential issues, equipment, and installation logistics.
Where is the installation located? How much area and space will your system cover? Will it be contained in one building or distributed across several miles? Are there multiple sites to consider? Can each device be monitored via satellite networks if the equipment is in a remote location? What are the on-site conditions? Humid? Dusty? Temperature-controlled? Does the equipment vibrate quite a bit? Are there safety hazards such as potential gas leaks? Dangerous equipment?
Once we have answered these, we can modify the hardware and communications to fit the environmental requirements.
Security is a vast area, and we at the Internet of Everything look at IoT installations needing security beyond cybersecurity. We mean that large IoT deployments will have hundreds, if not thousands, of sensing devices spread out over the installation area. The data delivered from these will be refined into information by AI and other logic programming methods, and erroneous data entering those data refinement programs can create substantial security risks as the refined information is being used.
In addition, we need to consider things like how will we protect sensitive data? Do you have existing measures for capturing, monitoring, and storing data? Is your industry subject to any data protection regulations? Do you have a process for device tampering? A strategy for securing connections to your other networks and detecting threats?
Today, we need to consider the team behind a deployment; we must understand the necessary positions and how an org chart will look.
We need to plan for the running of the installation, not just the deployments. To achieve sustainability at all system levels, we need to prepare for a long-term future.
Don’t become an IoT statistic
While the failure rate of IIoT projects is staggeringly high, we can help you avoid these mistakes and help prevent your organization from becoming a negative statistic; don’t:
· Implement IoT without a clear business objective in mind.
· Fail to establish the right culture and change the management process.
· Connect devices without a plan for managing data
· Install devices without developing a secure foundation
We at Internet of Everything can help you develop an IoT strategy with future and sustainability, designed around your organization’s target objectives. Client engagements start with a conversation, allowing us to learn about what you do, how you work, and what problems you’d like to address with IoT applications. We’ll assess existing systems and processes, define your requirements, and chart your path toward transformation.