Sunday, October 1, 2023

Navigating Common IoT Challenges in Digital Transformation

By Swapnil Mishra - September 18, 2023 6 Mins Read

Navigating Common IoT Challenges in Digital Transformation

IoT is a critical pillar for digital transformation initiatives. The challenges to adopting IoT in digital transformation are also about the use of data, connectivity, and the risks involved.

IoT is one of the most significant digital transformation technologies.  It forms one of the foundation pillars of the company’s move to advanced technology applications.

IoT also creates the base for digital transformation, along with AI, automation, Blockchain, RPA, and cloud.

How does it do that? This is due to its ability for interconnected integration between devices. This could be the network that all other tools work on. However, despite its utility, IoT implementation is not without difficulties.

Here are some of those challenges and the strategies to mitigate them:

Key IoT-Implementation Challenges

IoT digital transformation entails risks and difficulties. Enterprises need to seamlessly integrate IoT tools in their enterprise infrastructure to deliver a smooth digital transformation. However, there are some challenges to this adoption.

Here are the most common ones:

1. Merging data from multiple sources into one platform

Firms collect data from various endpoints to deploy an Internet of Things (IoT) system. This data must be integrated from various systems into a cohesive platform.

The inability to compile data seamlessly causes various issues. Minor compatibility problems (synchronization/time lag) during data capture could result in inaccurate readings.

Sometimes, the system fails to handle deviations during run time. This could leak faulty data into the system. The result would be a flawed data analysis. So, the inability to extract accurate data increases the risk of poor decisions.

Solution: Firms must adopt a data strategy that aligns with their business objectives and use cases.

Pick the platforms and tools that can manage the data’s volume, variety, and velocity. For instance, teams can store and process their data using distributed databases. It includes edge computing or cloud services.

Data analytics and AI can help firms to gain knowledge and value from the data.

2. Inadequate IoT readiness 

One of the biggest challenges to adopting technologies like IoT is legacy infrastructure in any organization. Companies must first work on their legacy infrastructure for optimum integration with digital technologies- upgrade or change it.

Solution: Before starting an IoT project, teams must conduct an evaluation. It can help determine the organization’s current infrastructure suitability for this adoption.

Many businesses have developed interfaces for legacy devices or upgraded to IoT-ready hardware. Testing and designing the systems and devices for scalability and reliability is crucial. They also need continuous monitoring to identify any problems or failures.

Fault-tolerance metrics and redundancy strategies, such as backups or load balancing, will increase dependability.

3. Slow adoption 

Technical and business teams have very different focus areas depending on the industry. The business team would be more concerned with milestones and ROI. The tech team would want to concentrate on vendors, systems, and technologies.

Very often, their goals do not have the same focus. In such cases, any tech adoption gets mired in meaningless discussions.

Solution: Adopting IoT at all levels will take time, so IT teams must prioritize this task. The value derived should focus on the whole organization’s digital transformation. That is why company-wide buy-in is needed.

Firms can work on these strategies for better support for transformation strategies:

  • Ongoing engagement with all impacted teams
  • Explaining what it means for the organization to each team
  • Implementing a system for gathering feedback.

4. Adaptive analytics abilities 

Companies need accurate reporting and related analytics on IoT solution performance. This will ensure insights into the long-term RoI on IoT investments,

To do this, the system must handle massive amounts of data. This is critical since a high-performance analytics platform needs that to function properly.

In the absence of clear metrics, there will be uncertainty regarding the ROI of the investment.  This may become a reason to cancel the entire implementation.

Solution: An intelligent IoT solution can extract precise data from particular points to derive usable insights. These serve to improve decision-making and increase ROI.

ROI for IoT adoption is, however, both direct and indirect.

Direct ROI is obtained through resource optimization. It lowers costs while providing higher-quality services (reduced visits thanks to preventative measures and remote support).

Indirect ROI includes improvements in customer satisfaction and long-term strategic planning. So, decision-makers need inputs from both metrics. The analytics capabilities of an IoT platform can significantly affect the organization’s future revenue.

5. Data security risk 

With the frequency of malware attacks, organizations have always been concerned about data security. When highly valuable data moves through the system, data and intellectual property theft are the risks.

The humongous amounts of data used and generated by IoT tools are at constant risk.

Solution: Throughout the lifecycle of the IoT implementation, firms must adhere to the industry’s security best practices. They must follow privacy and security standards for IoT.

  •  Choose encryption, authentication, authorization, and access control to protect data and devices.
  • For the rights and preferences of users, use privacy-by-design principles and privacy-enhancing technologies.
  • To prevent IoT security blunders, IoT service providers must ensure trustworthy end-to-end data encryption. It includes modern cryptographic (SSL, TSL) and connectivity protocols (MQTT, CoAP, AMQP, XMPP.).

Strengthen hardware security and IoT network security with monitoring tools.

Also Read: Leveraging IoT for Rapid Digital Transformation

6. Compliance Issues

Compliance with data privacy laws is not always an obvious issue. However, it can be a significant barrier to IoT deployment.

For instance, businesses operating in the EU must adhere to very strict compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For non-compliance, the fines alone can account for a sizeable portion of a company’s yearly sales.

Solution: The IoT deployment’s compliance and regulation frameworks must be clear in the initial governance documentation. In many cases, the implementation partner takes care of these aspects.

Transformation leaders must ensure that the implementation partners provide the necessary documentation and that all compliances are in place.

The Crucial Role of Interoperability in Seamless Technology Implementation

IoT’s complexity can be overwhelming. Managing and scaling the infrastructure of an IoT network can become difficult as more devices are added.

Effective data management and analysis can be difficult with the sheer number of devices and data they produce. It can quickly overwhelm current systems.

IoT is one of the base technologies that businesses need for digital transformation. There is no choice but to adopt it if going digital is the company’s goal.

It will soon be very difficult for non-digital companies to survive, let alone thrive.

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Swapnil Mishra

Swapnil Mishra is a global news correspondent at OnDot Media, with over six years of experience in the field. Swapnil has established herself as a trusted voice in the industry, specializing in technology journalism encompassing enterprise tech. Having collaborated with various media outlets, she has honed her skills in writing about executive leadership, business strategy, industry insights, business technology, supply chain management, blockchain and data management. As a journalism graduate, Swapnil possesses a keen eye for editorial detail and a mastery of language, enabling her to deliver compelling and informative news stories. She has a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex technical concepts into easy-to-understand language.

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