3 Reasons Why DIY IoT Platform Projects Fail
By Bill Dykas
June 5, 2017
By Bill Dykas
June 5, 2017
Many businesses that want to deploy IoT solutions leverage the existing tools and technologies available to them in an attempt design their own IoT platforms. However, the companies that choose to develop their own platform soon realize that unanticipated challenges wait just around the corner. From scalability problems to cost issues, there are many pitfalls to the DIY approach that cause setbacks when it comes to IoT solution deployment.
Below, we’ll discuss the top three reasons why DIY IoT platform projects fail and how an established IoT platform can help you avoid these roadblocks to achieve success with your IoT deployments.
One of the biggest downfalls of taking the DIY approach to IoT platforms is the increase in time to market. If you want to effectively create your own platform, you need to start with the systems architecture and design, which means that you need to have staff that understand an end-to-end solution. Creating your own IoT platform with the development team you already have in place could take up to a year. This estimated project timeline may be even longer if you have to hire additional team members to fill the gaps in expertise and resources.
This delay in the time to market can cause your project to fail from the very beginning. Rather than integrating an existing IoT platform and launching your solutions quickly, the DIY approach prolongs your IoT deployment launch. The longer that you wait to take your solutions to market, the longer that you put off fulfilling a valuable need for your customers. Not only does this mean that you miss out on the first-mover advantage, but you also delay the time until your business starts making money on your IoT investment.
Yet another reason why most DIY IoT platform projects fail is because companies often find it difficult to scale their IoT solution in a way that’s both successful and cost effective. Though the initial DIY platform that the developer team creates may be effective when the company first launches their IoT solution, many businesses often find that as their needs grow and change, scaling their DIY platform becomes much more challenging. It can become difficult to support one protocol as the number and types of devices increases. Not to mention, retrofitting and integrating legacy equipment can also become a problem as the company moves forward.
It’s important that your IoT platform is able to support your business as it grows. The more sensors you start adding to your solutions, the more data you will start to collect and often with greater frequency. Most DIY IoT platforms cannot accommodate the millions or billions of data messages that this growth creates. Similarly, the more devices you add, the more complex device management becomes as your enterprise needs to update individual programs and edge software simultaneously on many devices. If your IoT platform is not scalable, you may start to see operation costs rise as your service experience starts to suffer.
At Telit, we’ve worked with many clients who attempted to create their own IoT platform before deciding to use ours. One of the comments that we hear most often from these businesses is, “I didn’t realize how much it would cost!” Though brands may start off building their own platform because they think it will save them money in the long run, the truth is that developing an IoT platform often carries a higher total cost of ownership.
Building the first generation platform can end up being a $2-3 million project, but development costs are not the only costs that brands need to consider when deciding whether to build their own IoT platform. Companies also need to think about how much they will need to spend in ongoing costs to support their solutions over time. Similarly, they should also consider what costs they may incur when it comes to data management and potential security issues. To put this into perspective, a 2016 MachNation report calculated the average cost of supporting up to 5 million IoT devices with an enterprise-grade AEP that is upgraded annually. The report estimated that those who build their own solution will spend about $174 million over the course of 5 years, while those who buy will spend only $106 million over the same period of time.
Partnering with an established IoT platform provider allows you to forgo the challenges mentioned above and take your IoT solution to market faster and with less risk. When you buy an IoT platform service from a trusted provider, you can cut out the added development time of building your own platform and gain the first-mover advantage by quickly integrating your IoT solutions with the existing platform.
Using a commercially available IoT platform also allows you to reduce your total cost of ownership. Your company will not have to spend the time or resources making updates or adjustments to the platform in order to support your business growth and remain compliant with new protocols. When you work with an established platform, you have the peace of mind in knowing that the IoT solution provider will take care of all the updates and added features without increasing your overall costs.
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