Internet Of Things | IoT

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Not sure whether to build or buy an IoT platform? Here’s what you need to do

  • Posted by admin on August 22, 2017

It’s easy to foresee the rewards of leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) for any industry. However, getting a pertinent IoT platform or solution that helps you reach your business goals is far from easy.

Before getting to the pros and cons of building or buying an IoT platform, let’s get to know if your business really requires an IoT platform. Ask the following questions:

  • How will an IoT solution improve the business or existing processes?
  • What is the ROI that the platform may provide?
  • What are the architectural requirements based on which I can pick the IoT solution?
  • Will the insights gained from IoT implementation help my business in making better decisions?
  • Will it save enough time and resources that can be utilised to expand my business further?

After analysing the abovementioned questions, you probably will still feel the need to get your enterprise IoT-enabled. IoT can bring real value to any business by contributing in cost reduction, better customer experience, increased revenue, and by creating new revenue streams. To reap these benefits, you need to either build an IoT platform or buy one from an IoT platform provider.

Build an IoT platform

If you decide to build an IoT platform on your own, you’ll have complete control over the solution, you can customise it to make it a good fit for your industry and business. Everything from the data collection to the end-user experience is yours to modify, merge, and maintain.

Building an IoT platform is a great option for companies that have all the required expertise in-house or for businesses who do not find a suitable IoT solution from the existing ones in the market. While building an IoT platform from scratch may require proficiency in all the aspects of IoT ecosystem, it provides a perfect solution without compromising any feasible functionality.

Pros:

  • Allows businesses to develop a customised solution that provides a smooth interface to connect devices and run IoT applications.
  • Companies can leverage in-house expertise or hire a team of experts to develop the IoT platform.
  • A truly tailored IoT solution can be developed that is packed with all the necessary features that can benefit the business.
  • Organisations can offer improved and refined end-user experiences by delivering an IoT solution that directly reflects their brand.
  • No need to rely on IoT platform providers to update or maintain the developed solution.
  • A great option for businesses that do not find a suitable IoT solution in the market that can address their exact requirements.

Cons:

  • Building an IoT platform from scratch can increase the time to market, thus affecting the trust of your target market.
  • If you don’t have any experience with IoT, the steep learning curve will increase the risk of failure.
  • Hiring a dedicated team for building the IoT platform would be more complex and costly as compared to buying the solution.
  • It takes a lot of research, design, architecture, and development to build the solution. Once the IoT platform is built, it also demands maintenance after a regular interval.
  • If the solution is complex, it needs hardware, software, cloud, applications, security, and big data analytics to not only work together but also work efficiently.

Buy an IoT platform

While building an IoT platform on your own terms may seem alluring, most of the businesses underestimate the risks and challenges that are associated with the do it yourself model. In such cases, it’s always better to rely on IoT platform providers that have experience and expertise to develop an IoT solution for your enterprise.

There are plenty of IoT platform providers available in market to choose from. The challenge here is to find the right platform that fulfils all of your solution requirements. An experienced IoT platform provider will make sure that you have everything that you need from the very beginning, which is far better than building it yourself to realise later that your solution is still half-finished.

Pros:

  • This is the safest option for companies that don’t have any hands-on experience with IoT.
  • Buying an IoT platform will significantly reduce the time to market and provide you a working solution in lesser time.
  • A great fit for organisations that want to increase the value gained from an IoT solution and minimise the risks.
  • With a ready-to-use IoT platform, businesses can focus more on their core functionalities instead of struggling to build the platform.
  • The cost of buying is lower as compared to the cost of building the platform.
  • Businesses can also get a customised solution from IoT platform providers.

Cons:

  • Businesses may be delivered with device clouds instead of an IoT platform. A device cloud will allow companies to manage connected things but will fail to provide an application enablement platform.
  • Companies may fail to identify functional requirements and end up buying a platform that does not foster their business needs.
  • Companies will have to rely on platform providers to maintain, update, and enhance their platform over time.

Conclusion

The benefits of the Internet of Things are hard to ignore for any industry. Whether your enterprise chooses to build an IoT platform or buy one, you need to ensure that it addresses the functional requirements of your business. 

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