Your business doesn’t have one IoT use case, it has dozens

Three men and woman having discussion in network operations center

Platforms should allow for flexibility as business needs change

It’s a well-worn story: finding the appropriate use case is crucial to ensuring that organizations can build an IoT system structured for insights.

Often that can be limiting to how much ROI a business can actually get out of a platform, though.

Think of this scenario: A supervisor in a grocery store supply chain identifies a strong use case for an IoT platform and advocates for it all the way up to the COO, getting it approved with a hefty price tag on the promise of saving thousands through operational efficiency.

Then, a senior manager in the communications team realizes through proximity-based marketing campaigns, they can amplify their outreach efforts and gets that approved up through the CMO, hoping to generate new revenues.

Soon, the head of technology gets a mandate from the CEO to unify all platforms and none of these unique platforms play nice with each other. That means taking more time and effort to either stitch them together through intermediary technology or throwing them out and starting over with another platform.

A platform that is built on a stable and flexible foundation, whether it’s Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud or Microsoft Azure, can grow with you as different teams all want to realize the benefits of IoT in their part of the business.

Here’s another scenario you could face: A proprietary platforms is from a boutique company, offering very specialized services in healthcare. A large healthcare company then partners with a global technology giant, rolling out an IoT platform for those with chronic illnesses, putting the firm that supports that specialized solution out of business.

All of a sudden, any and every business that has leveraged that platform is now at risk too. Is there a backup plan for the platform? What’s the business impact today—and tomorrow?

Platforms built on stable foundations will be around, so companies can trust they’ll realize benefits for a long time coming. For Avnet’s IoTConnect platform, Microsoft was the right stable foundation. Microsoft Azure is open and flexible, supporting the broadest selection of leading operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, tools, databases and devices. Azure supports important open standards such as HTTP, XML, REST and SOAP to ensure wide compatibility, and it includes Java, Ruby and PHP software development kits (SDKs) for application development as well as tools for Eclipse. Plus, it allows us to make smarter decisions by relying on a hassle-free, trusted cloud that runs on a worldwide network of Microsoft-managed data centers across 19 regions—more regions and countries than many main competitors.

While picking the right platform can help organizations deploy IoT, it’s just one choice in the many that make IoT more complicated than traditional IT projects. Businesses struggle to scope and deploy IoT projects because it is harder to see a full view of the challenges ahead. IoT is new and complex, requiring different hardware and software resources and more integration than most traditional IT projects. Plus, IoT projects often involves a long list of stakeholders, from CMOs to IT managers, all of whom have their own objectives and ideas for monetizing IoT – and that’s not even including the up to 10 partners externally it takes to get projects off the ground.

Finding a strong partner with not only the right product – in this case, an enterprise IoT, AI and data platform – but also the expertise to match that with the right solution makes sure developers and line of business leaders have the right technology and tools in place for today’s and tomorrow’s use cases.

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