I’ve been sharing a list of questions for businesses to consider as they assess providers and technologies to realize value from the Internet of Things (IoT). The best path for a business is rarely obvious without careful consideration, and real, compelling differences exist amongst the companies vying for your business.
Question #3. Can the provider’s solution scale?
A great solution today is a wasted investment if you have to scrap it all and start over tomorrow. It is important to make sure that whatever solution you choose aligns with your business’ plan for growth. A static solution prevents growth and limits innovation.
A scalable solution should be able to work with any number of things and data streams. You may have 100 vehicles in your fleet today to connect and monitor – but can your vendor support 1,000? What about when the data analytics comes in real time? Your solution should support your needs today, and into the future; not just an increasing number of connected devices, but growth on a regional or global scale, across multiple types of endpoints (both hardware and software). A provider should be able to offer powerful cloud solutions that can work with your existing investments. If you’re unable to migrate everything to a public cloud platform, your provider should be in a position to help you leverage the public cloud to help you achieve extensibility and scale, while supporting your private cloud environment.
Ensure that the provider not only helps in planning the solution, but will also be around for the long term, in order to support and troubleshoot. Some vendors only offer limited technical support for individual components, not support across an entire solution. Make sure you can get the help and resources you need, both when building a solution and when modifying it later. Also make sure you choose a provider that enables you to extend the solution. If you need to bring another office or plant online, you should be able to do that quickly and easily without reworking existing architecture.
My next post will look at that all-important factor for business ROI: time to market, and how to assess whether a technology provider can meet your needs. Meantime, you can read my previous posts for more on finding the right IoT solution that is comprehensive and proven.