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Want to Create a Successful IoT Project? Do This First.

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

IoT is at a critical tipping point but with anywhere from 30-60% of IoT projects failing at the proof-of-concept and prototype stage and nearly one-fourth of IoT projects failing to make it to production or deployment, developing an IoT project is not for the faint of heart.

The top reasons why IoT projects fail have nothing to do with whether an idea is viable or can deliver good business value. Commercial applications, such as environmental monitoring or asset tracking, have already demonstrated the ability to deliver substantial ROI. And the number of use cases and IoT solutions that can exist in these application verticals is virtually limitless.

Most IoT projects fail to make it past the prototype phase due to one or more of the following:

  • Lack of technical expertise and resources

  • Running out of time

  • Running out of money or high cost of development

The First Step to a Successful IoT Project: Build a Field-Ready Prototype or Proof of Concept

Most IoT ideas start out as concepts to be built by a small team of development engineers or system integrators. A prototype is often built with a combination of an embedded single board computer (or a development kit), connectivity and a set of sensors, most of which can be purchased off-the-shelf and relatively inexpensively.

The tricky part for most IoT projects is in the amount of software development and hardware firmware customization that must occur to demonstrate the feasibility of the project and its ability to be connected to a real-world environment.

Many IoT projects are closely tied to a company or customer’s internal operation metrics and outcomes. This often results in software having to be custom developed. And with a lack of standardization across sensors and devices, this means every project can feel like having to reinvent the wheel.

IoT software applications require multiple components, including:

  • Network protocol processing

  • Multi-threaded servers

  • Databases

  • Diagnostics

  • Dashboards

  • User interfaces

The complexity of building IoT software often results in system integrators and developers building early stage prototypes that are either

  • Unable to be test-driven by the customer; or

  • Utilize open source software, such as NodeRed, that can create a long-term headache for key constituencies (such as IT and Ops) when it comes to scalability, on-going maintenance and support due to the thousands of dependencies.

As my mentor used to say: presentation is everything. For developers and system integrators, the key to a prototype that sells is one that looks, feels and operates like it is ready to go and inspires your customer or target audience to engage with the project.

The Solution: Ready-to-Use, Cost-Effective IoT Data Management Software

Developing custom IoT software can take a team of multi-disciplinary engineers months to finish. Ready-to-use IoT software can help developers and system integrators get to a field-ready prototype much faster and allow your customer to experience the project before investing thousands of hours in development.

The advantages of ready-to-use IoT software, like Machinechat’s JEDI One, include:

  • Easy-to-configure data collectors and custom plug-ins allow developers to extract data from any device or sensor in minutes – without the need to change native protocols or write custom firmware. This can also be helpful in the early prototyping phases, when your team may be looking at multiple options for qualifying the right sensor or embedded devices for your project.

  • Drag-and-drop data and system view dashboards enable developers – and customers – to visualize data in a variety of scenarios with a few mouse clicks.

  • Configurable smart on-premise data storage allows customers and developers to have full control over their data – and minimizes cloud hosting costs. This can be especially critical in the early stages of an IoT project.

  • Fully integrated MQTT broker that allows your team to ingest and visualize MQTT information in minutes - without the need for your network to point to a cloud hosted solution.

Whether your team is prototyping sensors on a PC or Mac, or developing a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone-based IoT solution, Machinechat's JEDI One IoT data management software allows you to simplify the POC process - and present a field-ready prototype that will engage and excite your customer and key constituencies.


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