The journey to managed enterprise IoT - Final Part
In my 1st blog in the series, I shared our vision on how businesses can plan their journey to managed enterprise IoT to achieve the business benefits they envision. We divided this journey into three steps: Enabling the use case, Beyond the use case and Managed Enterprise IoT. This last step is the one which I will discuss in this final blog.
As your organization goes beyond the use case and becomes a truly data-driven business – with more revenue derived from data – it is essential that IoT is integrated into the core of the business, to provide agility and predictability, while not compromising security as well as being supported by proactive and automated E2E service management. This is Managed Enterprise IoT.
Managed Enterprise IoT allows the business to reap several benefits for the whole enterprise. I have outlined a few examples below:
- Measurable business impact – Ensuring IoT delivers outcomes and benefits into your core business processes and strategic objectives
- Productivity – Enabling innovation driven change while ensuring stability of the core systems
- Cost reduction – IoT can be managed without an explosion of staff and costs (in spite of volumes)
How and when would you achieve Managed Enterprise IoT, should have been outlined as part of ‘enabling the use case’ and continued when going ‘beyond the use case’. This is the last stage after business platform:
- Managed Enterprise IoT: IoT underpins your critical system and business value chains, it supports multiple uses, large volumes as well as different technologies – i.e. its success determines that of the business.
We will now examine the core topics of Managed Enterprise IoT a little further:
- Core business integration: To deliver the fullest benefit, IoT needs to be integrated into your core business process and be measured by SLAs and KPIs; you also need to prioritize the highest value outcomes – e.g. if two machines fail, you prioritize fixing the one which has the biggest impact on your business KPIs.
- Agile and predictable: As IoT enables greater benefits, the business requests for IoT will increase. Managed Enterprise IoT should enable the business to innovate and test new use cases or unique services while ensuring successful ones are rapidly made predictable and stable. This includes systems that scale on-demand to peak loads, using automation and orchestration to on board provision, connect, secure, manage and test data, assets, software and code. This is particularly pertinent as we move to increasingly distributed systems with huge quantities of things, data and technologies.
- Security: As IoT underpins your enterprise it utilizes larger amounts of data, connects objects which were previously unexposed, uses critical business data in higher risk areas (e.g. outside of a data centre), and demands trust can be rapidly determined. In order not to reduce security and undermine the business it is important to extend security technology to the edge – e.g. with vulnerability and patch management, SOC, IAM, HSM, DDoS, DLP, and encryption for distributed IoT systems – combined with robust security governance, strategy, audit and compliance across the business.
- Proactive and automated E2E Management: With such large numbers of things (e.g. devices, connections, data, edges) it is important to move from a reactive model to a proactive one by managing IoT E2E as a ‘business chain’ (rather than silos). This means taking action based on the impact on the organization; using E2E monitoring to manage events rather than incidents (e.g. using prescriptive analytics to resolve systematic problems before they cause incidents); automating large parts of your L1 service management with event correlation and self-healing based on business rules (e.g. elimination of correlated incidents or auto-categorization of tickets); as well as using an automated first, remote second, and onsite third approach. The objective of our automation is to allow the operational team to focus on the higher level root-cause analysis and problem solving.
Getting the most value from your data entails harnessing IoT for the beneficial outcome of your business and customers, this means operating at the level of Managed Enterprise IoT. Reaching this level of maturity will allow your company to prosper from the challenges, complexities and volumes of IoT while other businesses struggle with them. This sort of competitive advantage will become a cornerstone of your businesses strategic objectives and allow it to continue to be successful in the data-driven economy.
I have spoken to many clients who have rolled out IoT solutions which are ‘the future of the businesses’. It is therefore unfortunate when they stop working effectively or if the operations team only know of problems when they are informed by the customer. It is normally at this point that they ask for expertise on going ‘beyond the use case’. A few common outcomes are re-building th app, creating a new platform, facilitating rapid scalability or enabling an operations team with E2E monitoring; either way, it costs time and money that were not predicted in the business case.
I would like to add a special thanks to Philip Griffiths (@ThePGriffiths). Philip was until recently, the strategic partner manager for the IoT practice and took the initiative to write this blog-series you are reading now.