IoT complex? The creative positioning of your corporate cornerstones can help.
IoT is often very complex to start with. It’s a mix of different services, security components, tools etc… So where to begin?
In general, everything that takes options off the table is a good start.
It’s not all rocket science but still managers often start talking with service providers before they have done the full exercise.
Why are lot’s of managers skipping this logical step?
Talking to service providers is often the easiest way to a get information.
As IoT is relatively new, there usually are no real guidelines about what is needed exactly.
Someone might have proposed an end2end solution that looks amazingly close to what you had in mind.
Just, service providers don’t have insights in how your organization works, they are not always aware of the internal or external politics.
Defining your IoT cornerstones is one way that can help you keep a clear overview of “what is possible” and “what is not”, very early in the project.
What is an IoT cornerstone?
A simple definition of IoT cornerstones would be: elements/processes that will definitely (or definitely not) make part of your final IoT solution.
It is an evaluation, done with regards to the internal/external objectives and available resources within your company and it will result in an exact solution requirement.
Consequentially, if you have “maybe” or “alternatively” in the same sentence with the cornerstone, it is not a cornerstone.
These cornerstones are different for each company but the principle is the same.
Cornerstones might have different forms and shapes, some examples;
a support desk, an installation team, a sales tool or team, a maintenance crew or even an existing IT architecture.
But a corner stone can also be something that will never be part of the core business of the company.
F.e. an insurance company, that wants to engage in IoT, traditionally doesn’t have feet in the field for installations and doesn’t want to invest in this.
A cornerstones for them would be “no internal installation team” but a link to an external team.
On the other hand, if there was a strategical alliance with a specific partner that does installations, then this could be one off the cornerstones.
A cornerstone is also not always the most logical choice, It is what it is..
Creatively challenging your cornerstones
You are allowed to challenge the use of specific corner stones, it’s even a good exercise but best do this at the very start of the project (or you might be doing work for nothing)..
F.e. You have an installation team but you can question if they are not “over-skilled” or too expensive to simply put sensors on the wall? Can we scale up with this team or not?
But you don’t have to think in black or white..
You might consider your installation team as “a buffer” that allows you to optimise the time they are sitting on the bench.
In this case For scale up or overflow, you would still work with an external team.
Cornerstones for yourself and for your partners
Not only for your internal business design these cornerstones are important,
also for your external partners.
Never forget that your partners might need to make changes based on your cornerstone requirements.
And as some of these changes might impact the TCO of the project or add additional costs, you will want them to give them as soon as possible.
Assess cornerstones while you are putting them in place.
Don’t cut too many corners.
I have said it in most of my articles, doing your homework will speed up the delivery and will save you money.