With an estimated 24.9 billion internet of things (IoT) connections being made by the year 2025, organizations, as well as municipalities, seem poised to collect vast amounts of real-time, actionable data from virtually any device, piece of equipment vehicle, or worker in the field. This developing technology has long held the promise of enabling more streamlined operations in terms of efficiency, safety, and the ability to respond immediately to changes as they occur.
But what most organizations lack is a clear, easy to understand (and implement) IoT connectivity strategy that will define the components and technologies needed, understand the costs and security considerations associated with each, and provide a path forward that is manageable, affordable, and aligned with tangible/realistic business outcomes. The aim of this post is to outline, in broad terms, a successful path to IoT deployment that goes beyond simplistic “proof of concept” scenarios that are often talked about, but not always backed up by real-world perspective and expertise.
The first need: an experienced partner in deploying IoT
To develop an effective IoT implementation strategy that makes sense in the real world, you need the guidance of a partner that manages a proven ecosystem of technology partners and tools and has implemented connectivity solutions across multiple industries. Your partner must be an expert in guiding organizations through the process of digital transformation, connecting both devices and people via secure data networks, and helping them analyze and understand the data to realize their stated objectives.
Understanding connectivity as an enabler
Organizations are increasingly beginning to understand that IoT technology is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, in order to compete in today’s marketplace. The willingness to make an informed, long-term investment in “smart” connectivity in order to collect and utilize data from anywhere (indoors or outdoors) is the key to adapting to today’s 5G-driven, real-time decision environment. Users must see beyond the costs involved in upgrading their wireless capabilities to viewing IoT deployment as an enabler of both bottom- and top-line growth.
The importance of a single vendor IoT strategy
Even a cursory understanding of IoT technology and IoT implementation reveals that a successful IoT business strategy needs to manage multiple components and moving parts: solution designs, equipment, software, installation, data security, and mobile device management, to name some. It’s easy to see how working with multiple vendors to handle each of these aspects can add unnecessary headaches and complexity to the process. Whereas, choosing a partner with the experience and relationships to manage the entire IoT deployment will drastically increase the efficiency of your rollout, accelerating your ROI.
Designing connectivity solutions based on clear, specific use cases
Next, organizations must work with their IoT strategy partner to help them understand the specific, real-world use cases for the deployment. There is no “one size fits all” scenario for IoT deployment – a solution designed to monitor the location and activities of a fleet of vehicles, for example, will be designed (and will function) very differently from one intended to monitor stationary assets such as trash bins or light fixtures. Your partner must have the experience and technological expertise to handle numerous types of network infrastructure. Which IoT deployments have they successfully managed in the past, and for whom?
Network connectivity: keeping your options open
One thing you absolutely don’t want when designing the optimal IoT solution for your organization is restrictions when it comes to wireless networks. If your solution is only compatible with a specific cellular service, it will put severe limits on your efficiency and flexibility – and could lead to costly lapses in communication and productivity. Proven IoT partners will provide options for always-on connectivity that’s not reliant on a specific device, carrier, or location. One such option is an IoT Single SIM which automatically connects to the strongest mobile signal in any location via the world’s largest communications network.
Managing costs and ROI after the IoT deployment
The right IoT technology partner doesn’t leave you hanging after implementation. For you to get the most of out your investment in IoT technology, constant and structured use case reviews and evaluations of operational environments are imperative. Technology is always evolving, which is why your partner must keep you in tune with new technologies that can guide your organization through its digital transformation.
For 10 years, MetTel has managed an IoT ecosystem of partners and technologies delivering AI and analytics, security, fleet management, asset monitoring, and more. And with MetTel’s vertical expertise and technological leadership, we can help design, and deliver industry-specific solutions for healthcare, retail, transportation, logistics, energy and utilities, and just about any other operation that wants to maximize the efficiency of its multiple moving parts.