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Overcoming IoT Deployment Challenges

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IoT Deployment
Illustration: © IoT For All

The creation of the Internet of Things was a game-changer for most industries. More recent developments have enabled businesses to increase production, collect in-depth data, and improve processes overall. But the evolution of IoT doesn’t come without drawbacks and challenges. As processes incorporate more IoT devices, the systems become more complex and rely heavily on deploying these devices and networks.

So what are common challenges organizations may face during the deployment and implementation of IoT and the required devices?

5 Challenges Companies Face in IoT Deployment

IoT utilizes many different assets and resources to realize its full potential. This ranges from field devices, data analytics, and even the wired or wireless network devices use to communicate. These components make IoT so powerful, but they can also cause significant issues if one piece of the puzzle is missing or working suboptimally.

Ensuring these components work together and operate effectively is key to running a successful IoT project. Here are some of the biggest challenges companies face while implementing IoT systems.

Power Management

One of the key aspects of an IoT system is the devices it employs. Networks can employ a wide variety of wired and wireless IoT devices, which generally require power to operate. While wired devices are fairly straightforward, they are limited to the hardline connecting them to the network and supplying power. Wireless, battery-operated devices are a much more flexible choice. Unfortunately, they also come with their own set of challenges that include power requirements and network connectivity.

LPWAN is an excellent solution for IoT systems that require small amounts of data to be transmitted from devices spanning large distances. LPWAN uses wireless devices to transmit small packets of data periodically. These devices can be programmed to send data at pre-programmed intervals or based on external triggers. This allows devices to remain in a dormant state and preserve battery life for years if needed.

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT)

Narrowband is a type of LPWAN, a long-range solution that supports longer battery life and remote uses for IoT devices. The network coexists with mobile networks like LTE and supports similar security and privacy capabilities. Users can expect data rates to peak at around 225kbs.

Cat-M1

While Narrowband provides good solutions for applications that require minimal data transmission, Cat-M1 focuses on providing a robust long-range solution that can handle bigger data requirements and additional device complexity. It utilizes the 1.4MHz bandwidth to provide speeds of up to 1Mbps for uses that require greater data rates.

Connectivity Solutions

The entire basis of an IoT system is the interconnected devices that can feed information to and from devices. Without this connection, the entire system becomes useless. Maintaining a solid connection to IoT devices is a challenge any deployment will have. Fortunately, several solutions can apply to a variety of circumstances.

Finding the best connectivity solution will be highly dependent on the application and budget. Hardwired devices can often provide some of the most reliable results. However, it can be quite costly and inefficient to run cables to every device. Wireless networks come in all sorts of bands and speeds, and their costs can vary widely depending on the requirements.

Settling on a good balance between cost and performance is key to operating an effective IoT system. But it’s important to understand that if the connectivity solution is too minimal, the value of an IoT system can be severely limited.

Sourcing for Software Development and Integration

IoT management systems can provide extensive capabilities and functionality, but there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. That means that companies usually need to work with developers and integrators to design and implement a solution custom-tailored to meet their needs. Sourcing a reliable and high-quality firm can be quite difficult in a space crowded with self-declared “experts.”

Locating a reputable service provider will make sure the project is done efficiently and effectively and establishes a partnership that will ensure the IoT system runs proficiently down the line. That way, companies can maximize their ROI and ensure they are getting the most from their system.

Sourcing IoT devices

Another challenge organizations can face how and where to source the IoT devices from. Since the devices are an integral part of the system, it’s essential to procure high-quality devices that suit the situation. With so many different options and manufacturers to choose from, it can be difficult to understand which systems work together and communicate effectively.

Using a reliable and trusted full IoT solution company can ensure companies end up with the right equipment and an effective end solution. Using a reliable source is one of the best ways to prevent any compatibility issues and to catch any system design flaws that may occur. Not only does this ensure the IoT deployment goes smoothly, but it also provides companies with a reliable partner that can support existing and future endeavors.

Implementing a Successful IoT System

While the design and implementation of an IoT system can be incredibly complex, organizations across the globe have recognized it as an incredible tool that can offer a great ROI if done correctly. Unfortunately, deploying an effective IoT system can be difficult without a reliable partner to provide support and direction throughout the project. That’s why it is important to research and find an IoT service provider that will help plan, implement, deploy and support your project from beginning to end.

With the help of experts, organizations can rest assured knowing that deployment of the IoT solution will go over smoothly, and any problems that may arise will be handled efficiently. It also ensures that the most effective solutions are employed while remaining cost-effective without compromising quality or reliability.

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Source: https://www.iotforall.com/overcoming-iot-deployment-challenges

IOT

Implementing a Space Utilization Solution Using IoT

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Space Utilization
Illustration: © IoT For All

You’ve invited all your friends and family to your house for a holiday gathering. You’ve cleaned your house, put out snacks in the living room, set out tables and chairs in the dining room and drinks in the back room. You’ve perfectly planned out the setup – everything is in its place. 

The guests will arrive and disperse themselves evenly among various rooms in the house, mingling and drifting from space to space, conversation to conversation. Lively chatter and warm holiday music fill your home.

But that’s not how it turns out. What really ends up happening is that all the adults cram into the kitchen, and all the kids hide in the basement. You end up bringing all the food back into the kitchen because that’s where everyone is. Nobody goes into the living room; nobody sits in the dining room for dinner. You can’t help but feel all the effort you put into setting up the house was wasted.

If this sounds familiar, you’ve been subjected to a classic problem in the realm of space utilization. You believed that you had set up your home for the party in a way that would best maximize the use of all rooms, but your friends and family ended up clumping together in one or two places in the house. 

The same happens in the real world: a designer – whether an architect, property manager, or interior designer – envisions a space – such as an office building, hotel lobby, or an event venue – to be used in a particular way. But in practice, the tenants, guests, and visitors end up using the space in an entirely different way. 

The designer is left trying to answer some questions: where is everyone? And why is this happening? How can we best monitor, measure, and take action on how space is used? And what does IoT have to do with it?

The Problem: Current Space Utilization Collection Methods are Inaccurate and Delayed

The objective of measuring space utilization is to figure out how many people are using a space. The scope of a space to be measured can vary – from individual desks in a coworking space to conference rooms in an office to exhibition halls at a convention.

Current approaches use very rough approximations for occupancies, such as looking back at scheduling records, conference room bookings at an office, or ticket sales for an event. In some situations, organizations engage consultants to perform manual observation and on-site assessments of how many people move through a given area. While it could get you close to the answer, using these methods present several limitations:

Not real-time: Going back to booking systems to look at data can be helpful, especially if you don’t have a bonafide space utilization system in place. But they don’t give an accurate sense of what is happening at the present moment. Depending on the use case, it could be important to have a real-time view.

Time-consuming: Many current methods are labor-intensive or tedious. For example, hiring a third party to perform an on-site assessment can get expensive and aggregating information from other systems to piece together a picture of occupancy at a given point can be time-consuming.

Not quantifiable: Doing manual observation or using other systems such as conference room booking systems as a stand-in for occupancy do not provide the precision to count the number of people over time truly. For the meeting scheduled in a conference room, how many people actually ended up attending?

Inflexible: Gathering data from systems like security badge swipes or other forms of self-reporting requires either the physical installation of new infrastructure (e.g., card swipe panels and wiring of door lock mechanisms) or operations training (to teach people how to report their usage). This makes it hard to quickly change which areas you want to measure and get consistent reporting.

The Solution: Capturing Space Utilization Using IoT can Transform a Variety of Industries

With IoT, organizations can measure space utilization systematically that frees themselves from the limitations of the highly manual, time-intensive, and less quantifiable processes of the past. By implementing a system using IoT, measuring space utilization becomes:

Automated: By placing sensors in locations to measure the intended space, the hardware does the data collection and counting. You don’t have to rely on a physical person or self-reporting to do the work.

Repeatable: Using software to process the data collected by sensors to produce a count or level of occupancy, the measurement process becomes consistent and repeatable. Users can rely on the occupancy levels they read, knowing that they were generated consistently, a non-biased way that operates around the clock.

Real-time: Because sensors continuously gather data to report occupancy levels, interfaces can be built to present that occupancy information equally as fast. In this way, real-time views of how space is being used are easily accessible to users. 

In any industry, being able to thoughtfully design a space to match the intended usage of the room is a difficult but important job. By gathering space utilization data and observing trends over time, IoT has the capability to transform a variety of industries, examples of which include:

Office and Property Management: Use occupancy data to understand which rooms, office spaces, or floors are being used the most to inform office designs or make heating and cooling system adjustments for energy savings.

Retail: Analyze trends of how customers spend time in different areas of a store and move from section to section. Use that data to make merchandising and product placement decisions.

Events and Entertainment:  Look at space utilization numbers to gauge actual attendance numbers, perform heat mapping of most and least used spaces in the event, and reconfigure vendors or A/V systems to match foot traffic and provide the best coverage of the venue. Set alerts when capacity is reached in a given space to redirect guests to other areas.

The Technology: BLE-Based Sensors and LoRa Networks Underscore a Wide Variety of Options

The exact technology used in a space utilization system will vary based on the use case. It also depends on what is being measured. This could be the occupancy of a desk, a room’s utilization, or the capacity of a more broadly defined space.

When looking at sensors, there are several considerations to take into account:

Precision/detection method: How precise do measurements need to be? Is an occupied/unoccupied state enough, or is an estimated count of people required? Possible detection methods to use are Infrared (IR) sensing, light sensing, video cameras and imaging, and Bluetooth Low Energy beacons (BLE).

Power source: Options can be either wired (wall outlet, PoE) or wireless (battery-powered). Are there places that the sensor can be plugged in to get power, or is it necessary for the sensor to be wireless and run on battery power? If battery-powered, how long does the battery last, and is it possible to replace the batteries instead of the whole unit?

Footprint: Does the device need to be smaller than a certain size to be unobtrusive? Does it need to be oriented in a certain way or mounted somewhere? Form factors and installation procedures can vary.

For connectivity to the cloud, sensors can either communicate directly with the cloud or, depending on the use case, communicate to gateways that communicate to the cloud.

If considering direct connectivity to the internet, options include Wi-Fi and cellular. The advantage of Wi-Fi is that it is typically already available at an installation site, and adequate coverage exists where people are normally located. However, Wi-Fi connections could be spotty, access could vary based on enterprise security rules, and connectivity could go down whenever the Wi-Fi goes down. Cellular is ubiquitous and more robust, but data costs could get expensive depending on the number of sensors and reporting frequency of the solution.

A low-powered wide area network (LPWAN) may fit your needs if looking at network connectivity to the cloud via gateways. These networks emphasize long-range, low-bandwidth communications such that even a single gateway can provide coverage for all sensors located in a large radius. LPWAN can be implemented for both indoor and outdoor use cases, and being low-bandwidth results in energy savings for battery-powered sensors. Examples of LPWAN protocols include LoRa, NB-IoT, and Sigfox.

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Source: https://www.iotforall.com/space-utilization-using-iot

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Cold Chain Monitoring for Refrigerator Rental Providers

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Cold Chain
Illustration: © IoT For All

One-third of the food produced globally is wasted, with much of that loss occurring along the global cold chain. Overall, that translates to 1.6 billion tons of food, worth about $1.2 trillion, down the chute. While low prices and frequent promotions drive consumers to the store, food quality and freshness is often their biggest concern, making temperature monitoring a critical operation for retailers.

Loca Service is a leading refrigerated furniture rental company headquartered in France that has provided tailor-made rental services for large and medium-sized retail stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, and food manufacturers in Europe for the last 40 years.

With a network of 12 agencies throughout Europe, Loca Service has a catalog of over 300 products and over 38,000 refrigeration displays in circulation, including Auchan, Carrefour, Monoprix, Starbucks, Pepsico, and Danone.

As an expert in refrigeration, Loca Service wants to design a cost-effective and reliable reporting solution for clients to maintain proper control of their refrigerators without the need for time-consuming and costly manual data collection. Automated readings guarantee specific cooling conditions, better food preservation, and significant savings while complying with strict regulations.

Chilling Problem

Refrigeration monitoring is not only a regulatory requirement but a crucial part of F&B operations with real consequences.

Those who have experienced a loss of inventory due to a broken refrigerator, or worse, sold food that was compromised unknowingly, causing food poisoning, can attest to how painful such an experience can be. While the loss of inventory and time (to repair the refrigerators) is temporary, negative publicity and the permanent loss of customers can affect businesses in the long run or even cause them to shut down.

Traditionally, retail stores have refrigerated display cases to keep food such as dairy products, fish, meat, or drinks at specific cooling temperatures. The use of these display cases requires multiple daily visits to the fridges (minimum twice a day) to guarantee that the temperature conditions are well maintained. Temperature data are collected and reported manually in Excel sheets, and these data logs are kept in store for at least 12 months by HACCP standards.

This labor-intensive procedure is not only cumbersome and inefficient but also subjected to human errors. On top of that, they are not performed or accessible during store closing hours.

For retailers, food must be carefully monitored to ensure shelf life and food safety. However, the quality control of an ever-expanding range of produce and products are laborious and costly due to different temperature and handling requirement.

What is HACCP?

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards. Key actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCPs), can be created to reduce or eliminate the risks.

HACCP helps the F&B industry put an effective integrated food safety management to ensure safety and traceability. The implementation of a Food Safety Management System based on HACCP principles is a legal requirement.

Keeping Cool

The solution is designed to send location and temperature change data to Loca Services so that their customers can take swift measures to change fridges or move products if necessary.

When the fridge’s power goes below the minimum threshold, a warning will be sent to the customers by email and in push notification via mobile phone apps to inform their customers of a possible breakdown. However, should the temperature return to normal, a second alert will be sent.

Never Lose Inventory

Since implementing the IoT solution, Loca’s customers receive regular updates on their refrigeration assets, helping them reduce loss of perishables by 15%. By monitoring the energy consumption of equipment, the end-user receives real-time alerts when temperatures have veered out of their normal ebb and flow via the mobile application, email, or text messages. This solution provides personalized and secure access to supermarkets 24/7. It also provides daily reports of temperature in graphs, and locations, whether indoor or outdoor, including location history.

Build on a user-friendly platform, ICECONNECT is easily integrated into customers’ IT systems allows users to export reports in PDF, Excel, or CSV format. Data are stored on the cloud and can be retrieved whenever an incident occurs to mitigate risks and trace liability, helping retailers improve the management of every rented fridge. e.g., to send malfunctioning refrigerators for repair or replacement.

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Source: https://www.iotforall.com/cold-chain-monitoring-for-refrigerator-rental-providers

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Top 7 European IoT Platforms to Consider in 2021

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akenza.io Hacker Noon profile picture

@akenzaakenza.io

Akenza allows you to build great IoT products and services with value.

According to McKinsey, by 2025, the annual economic impact of IoT could reach $11 trillion. As the IoT technologies boom across industries and get more reliable, more companies are looking to adopt IoT to bring efficiency to their organizations.

The European market for IoT solutions is flourishing, with the Nordics catching up closely. Countries such as Switzerland, the UK, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy lead the IoT adoption. Manufacturing companies, for instance, maximize IoT solutions for predictive analytics and maintenance to ensure a super-efficient manufacturing process.

But companies that strive to modernize their businesses by outsourcing their IoT implementation often struggle to find a reliable IoT platform. So, which are the best IoT platforms in Europe? Let us find out.

The highly volatile technological environment needs solutions that enable an agile approach to innovations. Akenza makes IoT accessible by reducing the effort and complexity that companies have when creating IoT solutions

Certain features can enable businesses to benefit from the start, such as –

  • 4D Agnostic Architecture and self-service functionalities allow businesses to start using the platform right away and remain resilient to change in the future. The agnostic architecture makes sure that companies can be flexible and exchange solution components anytime. 
  • Cloud Agnostic allows you to select a deployment model that fits your business requirement, whether in a public or a private cloud.
  • Device Agnostic enables you to choose between adding pre-integrated devices from the akenza library or adding your device with minimal coding.
  • Connectivity Agnostic makes akenza a go-to option for the best technologies at hand, such as LoRaWAN, Sigfox, NB-IoT, or LTE Cat M1.
  • Application Agnostic offers a powerful API and comprehensive documentation to support the creation of IoT solutions.
  • Built-in Data Visualizations for businesses provide insights into device data and behavior.
  • Open-source device type library with many pre-integrated devices. The device type library can be seen as a data parsing tool to extract and structure the data from any IoT device.
  • No-code connectors to set up the data processing pipeline. 
  • No-code rule engine to trigger actions and alerts based on your IoT data and business logic.

If, as a business, you are juggling with carrier platforms of different network providers, then look no further. Akenza offers the flexibility of choosing different connectivity technologies and network operators to scale IoT projects in various markets.

This IoT platform offers –

  • Connectivity-as-a-service prevents the hassle of several connectivity accounts and contracts. 
  • Bidirectional LPWAN integrations allow synchronization of LPWAN accounts and configuration of connectivity parameters. Integrations into backbone systems such as Ericsson DCP enables the management of devices and SIM cards for NB-IoT cases. 
  • White Labeling option enables businesses to brand their IoT offering and resell it with their brand name.
  • Full-proof security processes ensure protection for public cloud and private cloud.
  • User Management is ensured with role-based access control and SSO integrations.

2. TAGOIO

TagoIO offers an end-to-end IoT cloud platform that transforms business value from connected products and user interactions. It provides tools to manage devices, store data, run analytics, and integrate services, combining with an easy-to-use application and user management system.

With TagoIO, you can – 

  • Connect any device with HTTPS, MQTT, through WiFi, Sigfox, LoRaWAN, NBIoT, BLE, LTE, satellite, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and more;
  • Use templates and libraries to collaborate with experts;
  • Fetch data from several types of sensors and web services using powerful APIs;
  • Scale up to thousands of devices quickly; and 
  • Deploy your portal to customers using TagoRUN.

TagoIO creates value for different applications, such as Industrial Applications, Smart Agriculture, Precise Real-time Location, Asset Tracking, Telematics for Fleet Management, and more.

3. DATACAKE

Datacake is a low-code, multi-purpose IoT platform that requires no programming skills to create custom IoT applications in minutes. 

  • Dashboard Editor: Set configuration using a user-friendly interface, create beautiful Dashboards with easy-to-use Dashboard Editor, and share them using a simple link that everyone can access without registering on Datacake.
  • Asset Tracking: Share GPS Data with Datacake, and use Widgets and historical data to track your device’s positions.
  • LoRaWAN IoT Platform: It offers templates and integrates with LoRaWAN devices and networks.
  • Data Storage: Create innumerable database fields per device and use functions for statistics or conversion. Datacake offers a time-series database for the collection and storage of sensor data.
  • User Management: Using a simple web interface, you can invite members by Email, create Workspaces, create custom API users and tokens, and add customers and share devices.
  • Alerting, Rule Engine: Create alarms that send alerts through SMS, Email, or Push Notifications to members of your Workspace.
  • Unlimited Workspaces: Create an unlimited number of workspaces, with each containing its own or shared devices and members.
  • Open APIs: Datacake offers multiple Interfaces to communicate with our Backend.
  • Industrial IoT Gateway: Enables LTE Connectivity of industrial sensors with cellular-based industrial IoT Gateway.

4. THINGSBOARD

ThingsBoard is an open-source IoT platform for data collection, processing, visualization, and device management. It enables device connectivity through IoT protocols – MQTT, HTTP, CoAP, and supports on-premise and cloud deployments. It combines fault tolerance, scalability, and performance to prevent you from losing data.

With Thingsboard, you can – 

  • Monitor and securely control your IoT entities using rich server-side APIs. Define relations between your assets, devices, customers, and other entities.
  • Collect and store telemetry data in a scalable and fault-tolerant way. Visualize your data with custom or in-built widgets and flexible dashboards and share them with your customers.
  • Define data processing rule chains. Transform and normalize your device data. Raise alarms on incoming telemetry events, attribute updates, device inactivity, and user actions.
  • Construct your ThingsBoard cluster and get maximum scalability and fault tolerance with microservices architecture.
  • Create complex Rule Chains to process data from your devices and match your application-specific use cases.

The Thingsboard features include – Telemetry Data Collection, Multi-tenant installation, Configurable Widgets, Horizontal scalability, Flexible IoT rule chains, Fault Tolerance, Device Management, Device authentication and credentials management, Asset Management, Customization and Integration, and Alarms Management.

ThingsBoard is widely used by IoT enthusiasts and industrial customers with a range of business needs for data processing, privacy, security, analysis, device management, etc.

5. TELIT

With over a thousand of the world’s leading IoT experts, Telit helps businesses connect, manage and secure their IoT Deployment. With Telit OneEdge, companies can now accelerate their time-to-market for their new cellular IoT solution. It offers a portfolio of IoT communications modules using a standard footprint to adapt to multiple markets and technologies quickly.

Telit offers IoT SIM cards and global data plans that meet several applications and bandwidth requirements. Available as a subscription-based cloud service, their IoT solutions reduce the complexity of connecting to apps with a comprehensive IoT platform for collecting, managing, and analyzing critical device data.

  • Accelerate your business transformation with –
  • Condition Monitoring to know the performance of connected devices, machines, and industrial equipment;
  • Predictive Maintenance to prevent unplanned downtime;
  • Telematics & Fleet Management for real-time data such as vehicle location, speed, fuel use, or driver behavior;
  • Asset Tracking to track valuable assets;
  • Supply Chain Management to optimize production and real-time visibility;
  • Smart Factory / Industry 4.0 to improve decision-making with real-time visibility into manufacturing operations.

Telit’s applications span industries and markets worldwide and help businesses achieve operational efficiencies in – 

  • Automotive & Transport
  • Smart Buildings
  • Smart Cities/Smart Transportation
  • Smart Energy & Utilities
  • Security and Surveillance
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Agriculture

Being a leader in enterprise-grade IoT products and software, Telit has earned a reputation for solving the IoT’s most formidable challenges. It helps customers and partners with engineering practices and design methodologies that exceed environmental requirements and industry standards.

6. AXONIZE

Axonize is a no-code platform built for employers and facility managers interested in transforming their spaces into smart spaces. It provides an end-to-end IoT solution to address the business challenges encountered in sectors ranging from energy efficiency to space utilization. It is designed to manage various software, sensors, and devices required to make buildings smarter, safer, and more competitive. 

Axonize is designed to transform offices, buildings, and retail into smart spaces. The platform allows you to scale your projects with unprecedented speed on an unlimited number of devices, systems, and protocols across all verticals and competitive edge from fast prototyping and virtual devices. Axonize enables businesses to reap ROI on smaller projects and eventually scale up to larger ones, monitor all the customers and their various systems from a single platform. 

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based software, allows an additional layer of security for every smart project. Axonize, combined with Azure, offers a faster time-to-market, reduces overhead costs involved in onboarding new clients, and maximizes scalability. The partnership guides the providers to incorporate event-driven data with business logic and analytics capabilities across devices, systems, applications, and protocols.

7. SOFTWARE AG 

IoT projects can be complex. That’s why the Cumulocity IoT platform simplifies things for you with a configuration-driven approach and self-service tools. The platform enables businesses to connect, manage and quickly develop IoT apps, analyze and leverage IoT data, and run IoT in the cloud and on-premises. 

Cumulocity IoT enables you to manage all your devices from one place, from planning and onboarding to monitoring and maintenance. When it comes to integrating IoT data in your services, processes, and systems, Software AG leads the integration process with just one click. 

With Cumulocity IoT, you can operate IoT on-premises, on the cloud, at the edge, or in any combination. You also can run an edge-only solution to perform faster with local data processing. With Cumulocity IoT, businesses can ace in – 

  • Democratizing IoT – Self-servicing tools with a configuration-driven approach, seamlessly provided by all components from device connectivity & management up to solution accelerators.
  • IoT Capabilities: The ‘develop once, deploy everywhere’ paradigm simplifies development using uniform APIs, data, and analytics models on clouds, on-premises, and at the edge.
  • Integrating IoT Data: The Cumulocity IoT platform provides tools to address the OT-IT gap, including on-premise integration and hybrid cloud.
  • Reaping faster ROI: Be it integrating LPWAN devices, reusing ML models to build new ones, or creating IoT streaming analytics scenarios, the Cumulocity IoT experts help you achieve results faster.

Software AG gives businesses the power to decide, act and thrive instantly. It aims to empower businesses to truly become a connected enterprise. 

Key Takeaway

IoT is the most significant trend in the business ecosystem, delivering agility and efficiency to businesses. It operates with the idea that enterprises should have access to data about their products and internal systems. With companies striving to innovate their businesses, it is prudent for them to check out the relevant features of each of these IoT platforms to maximize their benefits.

by akenza.io @akenza. Akenza allows you to build great IoT products and services with value. Learn More

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2021 and Automation: The Perfect Match?

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Automation IoT
Illustration: © IoT For All

As time has changed, so too has technology. For automation, things are slowly starting to come to a head this year.

Of course, most people have likely heard of automation before. However, they may not know how rapidly technology has evolved in recent times and how attitudes in certain spheres have steadily changed under the influence of turbulent economies and personal needs.

Therefore, it is worth asking how things are shaping up for automation in 2021. We investigate these matters further down below.

The Pandemic Influence

The coronavirus pandemic has changed life in many ways, and some of its influences will have a permanent effect on society. Interestingly, this could be the case with automation.

In answer to the lay-offs incurred by the coronavirus, many manufacturers ignored the high costs and turned to automation to keep their production lines going. NBC reported that these businesses would not be going back either, while dubbed the technologies as ‘the perfect pandemic worker’ in the process.

Of course, things were likely always going to go this way sooner or later. However, it seems that the pandemic has irreversibly accelerated the use of automation technologies, redefining industries in the process of ‘do or die’ for their businesses. They have needed to adapt as a point of survival, and it has perhaps placed a new essential emphasis on automation and what it can offer in a professional context.

Job Creations

Naturally, some people may worry that the surge in automation may cause a knock-on effect of job cuts.

While some redundancies can be expected, a report from the World Economic Forum suggests that automation could create a staggering 97 million jobs across the globe. Existing roles may also be developed and fine-tuned into something else linked to automation, especially in health care and banking.

Hopefully, this will yield more opportunities to workers who have fallen on hard times or provide assurances to those concerned they may soon be dismissed from their roles. Clearly, the trade-off is not perfect here yet, but it is to be hoped that in time the kinks can be ironed out and that the presence of automation will not take away employment opportunities but rather expand them.

Vendor Awareness

It is an intriguing time to be living in, but that does not mean that a few wrong turns cannot be experienced when it comes to automation.

Forbes rightly acknowledges that automation is essential today, but they also warn against choosing vendors who are not the right fit for the reader’s businesses. Of course, business leaders risk wasting automation opportunities if they do not know what to look for in a vendor. Solutions here may include:

  • Understanding business processes – Automation is most effective when optimized to a firm’s individual processes and circumstances. Vendors need to know this and acutely understand what each business requires of them.
  • Assessing the vendor’s work history – If an obscure entity provides automation technologies without any trace of prior success, they are sure to be avoided.
  • Determining if the vendor is easy to work with – Just because a vendor provides innovative technologies does not mean that they will provide fair value or good customer service. Judging them as one would any other supplier or business partner is essential also.

Automation is the future, but that future needs to be in capable hands. It seems this discussion is being developed further in 2021, alongside a more realistic sense of perspective.

Common Uses

The seismic changes in automation now mean that the technology is more common than many might think.

In everyday life, mass emails are beginning to be utilized more frequently, enabling email users to get in touch with their contacts in more efficient ways. Learning how to send mass email is easier than ever, and a quick peruse online should detail all readers to need to know on the matter. There is always a way to improve things here, such as avoiding the limited capabilities provided by Gmail and instead using an alternative email marketing service.

Ultimately, automation is now deeply embedded into the daily chores of life, rather than being something of a feat to be marveled at today. It has helped people be independent in isolation or prevented them from falling short in their careers when removed from their usual work life. Automation is now almost enjoyed unthinkingly, a necessity, and the ease of its learning and use has made the technology an intrinsic part of 2021 living.

Conclusion

At the time of writing, 2021 looks to be a time of reset and new beginnings worldwide. Automation is also marking new territory at the same time. People have never been more conscious about the benefits the technology brings in personal and professional capacities and better understand how to navigate it all safely and with confidence. Consequently, automation is likely to take a central position in the running of global society, starting in 2021.

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Source: https://www.iotforall.com/2021-and-automation-the-perfect-match

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