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Today enterprises are feeling the heat of the moment. They are anxious to know about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it can help them build a connected ecosystem. To beat this heat, enterprises are adopting IoT platforms that can connect sensors and actuators to the enterprise-wide devices and assets and gain valuable, actionable insights.
A number of IoT platforms —Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and more—exist in the market and they all have different set of features. In other words, no one size fits all. Therefore, it is important for organizations to measure the organizational maturity level before selecting an IoT platform for their enterprise.
Parameters to Measure the Organizational Maturity Level
There are a number of parameters that an enterprise must consider in order to measure the organizational maturity level. On the basis of these parameters, enterprises can easily figure out which platform to choose based on their specific requirements.
Following are some of the predefined parameters that can help an organization measure its maturity level.
- Organizational goals and objectives and the business strategies to attain them
- Expansion of organization with respect to size, market cap, employees, regions, sales channels, and more
- Technologies used by the organization in order to align IT with the organizational resources
These parameters form the basis to segregate organizations further into three different categories, which further helps analyze the organizational maturity level for IoT platforms.
- Data-driven Organization: Data-driven organizations are nascent and largely dependent on data. These organizations do not work only to function but also to deliver value to customers. These organizations don’t manage too many applications and no specific maturity parameters fit them.
- Process-driven Organization: These organizations are ones which have evolved and grown to the extent that they want to extract the value hidden in their core organizational processes, in addition to the transactional data. They implement/manage/subscribe applications that can be well integrated with process endpoints including IoT devices. They are also known as below-enterprise level organizations.
- Model-driven Organization: These organizations have mature processes and factor in compliance needs across a spectrum of processes they implement. They find it useful to completely manage or independently develop required software and hardware to build their own applications. They are also referred to as enterprise-level organizations.
Mapping of IoT Platforms to Organizations’ Maturity Level
IoT is fast gaining traction but many companies do not know what to do with technology. Same is the case with the selection of a suitable IoT platform, which establishes parity between device sensors, data, and applications. Below is the IoT platform selection criterion that every organization can follow and use:
- Mapping of Data-Driven Organization to an IoT Platform
Organizations falling in the data-driven category usually have no pre-existing software platforms and are on a constant lookout to explore out-of-the-box solutions. Such enterprises are recommended to use SaaS (Software as a Service) IoT platform. SaaS IoT platforms are ready-made and hosted in the cloud. In other words, SaaS allows data-driven organizations to connect enterprise-wide devices using the plug-n-play approach. In the SaaS platform, the solutions to the most common use cases are built-in and organizations can readily use them.
Use Cases Served by SaaS IoT Platform
There are many SaaS IoT platforms in the market but a few among them such as Cumulocity IoT, MuleSoft Anypoint IoT, Azure IoT, and AWS IoT Core lead the pack. These IoT platform providers help data-driven organizations define general use cases such as building industrial IoT solutions and utility solutions such as metering, weather measurement device connectivity, asset tracking device connectivity, and more.
- Mapping of a Process-Driven Organization to an IoT Platform
Organizations that fall in the process-driven category have already been introduced to device connectivity and management. They aim to deploy IoT platforms to redefine the role of the already connected devices as well as integrate new applications with their existing processes.
Such organizations are recommended to use PaaS (Platform as a Service), an application platform, which allows enterprises to develop new, custom business applications
Use Cases Served by PaaS Platform
The process-driven enterprises can use PaaS platform to get real-time analytics by attaching sensors to the enterprise-wide devices. They can further use the PaaS platform to integrate on-premise devices with cloud-based applications to exchange data in real-time. (EX: Telecom Services, ADAMOS, MindSphere).
- Mapping of Model-Driven Organization to an IoT Platform
A model-driven enterprise has completely different maturity level or requirements. They have their own dedicated team consisting of developers, who seek an IoT platform for industry-grade frameworks and applications in order to deliver to unique customer needs. Organizations falling in the model-driven category are recommended to use iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) platform. iPaaS enables enterprises to access data through different systems and solutions in the cloud, in order to build custom applications and other bespoke business solutions.
Use Cases served by iPaaS Platform
As far as the iPaaS use cases are concerned, smart city initiatives for street lighting, crime detection, facial recognition, and other similar things are the best examples. Cumulocity IoT is one of the top iPaaS platform providers, however, AWS IoT Analytics and IoT Greengrass are some other renowned and reliable providers.
Organizational Maturity Have Goals to be Fulfilled by IoT Platforms
Analyzing organizational maturity is important to select the best IoT platform. Various parameters such as clarity and non-clarity in planning, communication, implementation, documentation, mistakes, failures, budget, infrastructure, value, goals, objectives, and more should be analyzed before considering the platform for an organization. The alignment of an IoT platform with respect to a particular maturity level is paramount as different IoT platforms come with disparate capabilities and are specifically meant to fulfill predefined roles.
Today a number of businesses are embarking on their IoT journeys and selecting the IoT platform based on the organizational maturity level is important to achieve efficiency, create a competitive edge, and increase profits.