Blending IT, OT among hot topics at IoT World 2018

Four Avnet experts discussed getting IoT from idea to product to market

Avnet Internet of Things experts harnessed the knowledge gained from working with more than 2 million customers around the world to present ideas at this year’s IoT World in Santa Clara, Calif. The largest gathering in the event’s history, with more than 20,000 attendees, this year’s IoT World was focused on “putting IoT into action” or as the event put it: we’re all in I(o)T together.

IoT in Action: De-risking IoT for Market Deployments

VP of Global IoT Lou Lutostanski was one of the first speakers of the event, highlighting how to not just deploy IoT, but de-risk deployments for stronger ROI. Lou noted that getting projects out of “pilot purgatory” is critical to introducing continued innovation into IoT deployments.

While the terminology might be buzzworthy, implementation strategies aren’t quite as mainstream. However, the business benefits of IoT are real and compelling—if you can get over the risks associated with deployment.

For a stronger deployment, watch out for:

  1. business case development
  2. implementation while managing the operational versus information technology divide
  3. overall lifecycle management

For providers, look for how you provide value to your customers. Customers, partner with a solutions provider who not only understands your business case, but also reduces implementation risks by having solid partners and processes that will be around for years to provide you continuous support.

Effective Integration of IT & OT in IoT Deployments

VP of EMEA IoT Philippe Fremont took on the challenges of IT and OT integration in his panel as well.

Gentleman presenting at IoT World eventIoT deployments of scale require even more collaboration between OT and IT, balancing best practices with the customization that comes with deploying an IoT solution that matches your business use case.

Philippe noted that one of the biggest challenges is trust: IT professionals need to trust OT devices to connect to carefully constructed networks, and OT professionals need to feel comfortable with a new security stack. Having a partner who can deliver security end to end allows for not only proof of concept in the product road map and consultation phase, but also proof of value and scalable deployment.

As for the future, Philippe noted that often businesses need to understand that it takes more than simply “being in IoT” to prove the value of their projects. They need to prove out scalability and return on investment, whether in IT or OT. That’s what will help them deploy faster, along with pre-integration and better understanding on the importance of security from edge to enterprise deployments.

Design to Deploy: IoT Product from Inception to Production

Director of IoT Design and Production Vandana Lokeshwar led a hands-on developer course about the often difficult road from the moment you think of an idea to when you see it deployed on a major scale.

Vandana notes that it takes a well thought-out and documented plan to bring a smart, connected product to market. However, there are some key steps to get any product from ideation to design, and get that initial prototype into mass development and eventual delivery—especially with connected devices.

She talked about the hidden challenges within a deployment, including designing tests for devices when they go from prototype to production, and new international regulations such as getting the silicon for chips from conflict-free zones. Understanding not only how to get to market but scale securely and safely is where an external partner with strong supply chain and lifecycle services can provide ongoing value.

When Stars Align: The Time for Transformation is Now

Michael Lamp, director of Americas IoT business development, hears often that IoT is tomorrow’s technology. However, in a lightning talk on the last day of IoT World, he argued that all the ingredients for successful IoT-driven transformation exist today—if everyone can agree on what kind of dish they’re cooking, that is.

Innovators who are developing technology often worry about the small details around the right business plan or product roadmap to make an IoT deployment come to life. However, there is a binding ingredient that many overlook: alignment. Getting the “stars to align” means every stakeholder needs to agree on where they see the product going. Michael noted that it’s also important to know when to cut bait if you can’t decide on the readiness of an idea.

Alignment is often seen as a hedge against unforeseen circumstances, safeguarding budgets, schedules, and expectations. However, it can also be a growth engine to help productivity and optimize processes as alignment can spread from inside your organization out and across the entire IoT vendor network.

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