What’s Your IoT Application Endgame?
Here’s a question I’m frequently asked at industry conferences: “What’s the best IoT platform to develop apps for the (fill in your vertical here) market?”
My guess is that the person asking expects answers based on typical due diligence along the lines of, “Which IoT service creation platform will give me the most leverage developing my IoT applications? Allow me to get going faster? Which one is the most cost effective, and will provide the most scalability, performance and security for my needs?”
Yes, these are indeed important considerations for an applications developer or executive when selecting an IoT platform. But here’s my question in response: “What’s your IoT application endgame?”
What if, instead of selecting an IoT platform with just the requirements of your vertical market and capabilities of the application itself in mind, you select an IoT service creation platform that gives you the ability to build an application ecosystem, optimized for your vertical and enriched by your data? Then, the internet of things becomes a vehicle for doing more than merely getting data from your devices and providing some analytical insight and service control. It steps up to the next level and starts to be about transforming your business by allowing you to leverage those devices and data to build an ecosystem of partner applications to help enrich your business.
Consider an appliance manufacturer that wants to move into the smart home market. The company will manufacture appliances with an accompanying IoT app that allows the consumer to control their dishwasher or washing machine from their mobile phone. However, a much broader vision is to take that data and share it with service partners who can then offer value-added service offerings to the consumer. For example, a maintenance partner could track how close the washing machine is to breaking down and offer a premium maintenance service. Or an energy management partner could integrate predictive rooftop solar panel power generation data (based on sun position and weather) with predictive variable electricity and water pricing data from the utility companies to schedule the optimal time to run major appliances and take advantage of the best utility rates or conserve water (a growing concern). The opportunities are vast.
I like to tell people that the platform on which you choose to build your IoT application should also allow you to immediately turn the application around, and offer it to partners as service. You should choose an IoT platform that doesn’t just provide infrastructure for building an application. It should also allow you to create your own IoT platform a -a service and stimulate the rapid development of an ever-widening internet of things application ecosystem – all built by your partners on your platform. Any IoT applications built on your platform should be “service-oriented” – meaning that the services can be consumed by other partner applications. The IoT platform you choose should act as an enabler for application developers, handling all of the heavy lifting for creating, deploying and monetizing such “service-oriented” IoT applications.
When you select your IoT platform, is the application itself your end game? Or is an ecosystem of future IoT applications, using the data and insight generated from your devices, where you really want to go? If the latter is your focus, congratulations! That’s where the real value creation will be in the near future.
Applications are becoming easier to create and the IoT application environment itself is becoming more competitive, increasing application obsolescence and churn. The eventual winners are going to be those businesses that can build the richest application ecosystems and keep those ecosystems evolving. Those companies will get the most leverage out of their devices and data while creating profitable long-term relationships with partners and customers.
At Accelerite, our Concert IoT is a service creation and enrichment platform that allows a customer to build service-oriented IoT applications – applications that deliver their value via traditional graphical user interfaces AND as a service (via APIs) to other applications. With Concert IoT, these service-oriented IoT applications don’t take any longer to build or deploy than traditional IoT applications. They become your endgame’s secret weapon for leveraging your connected device data to continually enrich your business and keep you ahead of your competition.