Low Code as a solution to the two biggest challenges of large-scale IoT implementations
In this blog we will review the two main approaches used by companies to start realising their ambitions with IoT applications. We see a lot of organisations make use of default dashboards that are provided by sensor or hardware suppliers. Another option is to develop your own platform, which is mainly done by larger Enterprises. In this blog we will look into challenges associated with these two main approaches and how Low Code offers a solution for both of them.
I thought dashboards were included?
A starting point for many organisation is using standard dashboards or software that is supplied by the companies that provide sensors or other hardware to them. These are made specifically to work with that hardware and can be used without the need for any additional development effort.
Although using such dashboards can help with a fast and low-cost start with IoT, we see organisation getting stuck using approach for several reasons:
- When new applications or hardware are deployed, the number of dashboards that are used will increase. This can lead to a situation where end-users need to work in a large number of different systems to support them in their daily work
- It is hard if not impossible to change the functionality of these dashboards and in many cases there isn’t any functionality for alarms to proactively notify end-users of potential issues
- The closed set-up of these dashboards makes it hard if not impossible to combine data and The ability to combine data from different systems is also known as interoperability.
According to McKinsey, the lack of interoperability is one of the main challenges of scaling IoT applications. It is often not considered early on, resulting in a scattered landscape of dashboards and applications.
Take matters into your own hands
Large organisation often choose to develop their own platform so that they full control over how their IoT solutions are developed. It also allows them to determine how their data is exposed and processed.
In many cases, such implementations are based on combining services from e.g. Microsoft Azure or AWS or on combining open source components like Kakfa, InfluxDB and Grafan. Due to the technical nature, these projects are typically driven by IT.
In a previous blog we described how this approach creates a permanent dependency between requirements from the business and the ability of an IT team to prioritize, develop, test and deliver these. Furthermore these projects are positioned and executed as technology projects and not as a broader organizational change project. McKinsey identified a lack of change management as another major challenge of large-scale IoT implementations.
How can Low Code support organisations with successfully rolling out IoT?
Adopting Low Code technology provides the ideal balance between using standard software and building custom software. In Low Code, functionality is configured based on using standard building blocks. These building blocks were developed with non-functional requirements like performance, scalability and security as part of their design without making the configuration of them complex.
This approach to developing applications provides full control over the end-result without having to resort to custom development for every extension or change. This approach also provides organizations with the right amount of flexibility to develop applications according to the guidelines related to interoperability.
Change management is supported by Low Code
Another advantage of using Low Code is the ability to have people from the business (e.g. engineers, electro technicians, mechanics or asset managements) actively participate in building IoT solutions.
This approach allows the business to translate their knowledge on e.g. assets or operational process to ways of transforming raw data into valuable insights. The ability to work with large data sets in an easy and accessible way helps with a broader positioning of IoT implementations within the organization.
An approach based on Low Code helps organizations with gaining the most out of the knowledge and experience of their business. The involvement subsequently adds to the adoption rate of new solution and the close connection between these new solutions and the business provides big opportunities for increasing the efficiency of a variety of operational processes.
The 4 main building blocks of IoT applications
In a next blog we will look into the 4 main building blocks IoT applications. We will look into how these building blocks can be used to develop solutions in an approach that will ensure they meet the criteria op interoperability. We believe this approach is a critical in ensuring your solutions are durable and agile and that they can easily be deployed at scale. By combining this approach with Low Code technology, the involvement from the business will provide the fastest way to a long-lasting and successful end-result.