This is Why Your Business Needs IoT Consulting

What is Internet of Things consulting

Internet of Things consulting (or IoT consulting) works just like any other type of consulting — it is the practice of providing a third party with expertise on a matter or in some domain or industry. In the case of IoT consulting, a consultant is an IoT technology implementation advisor who either examines theoretical opportunities the Internet of Things may deliver value to a business and presents them or provides his expertise on how to build an IoT system in the best way.

  • Why hire an IoT consulting service provider?

Why to Implement the Internet of Things

To answer that question, we need to understand that the Internet of Things is a tool that serves various purposes. Just like you can use a car to drive from one place to another or use a website to sell products to your clients, you can use the Internet of Things to achieve a new level of efficiency in your business. We have a separate article devoted to the numerous benefits the Internet of Things brings, here we want to mention only some of them:

  • Control and monitoring — IoT devices are supposed to track physical parameters of the environment, making them ideal instruments for monitoring anything like humidity level, soil temperature, patient heart rate, the location of a product or a vehicle, etc.
  • Improve operational efficiency — the data IoT generates helps to achieve savings across manual labor, energy consumption, yield loss, the number of defects in manufacturing, overall costs, and more.
  • Predictive maintenance and digital twins — the consequence of precise monitoring is the opportunity to assess the risks of product failure and initiate maintenance processes before failure happens and affects business processes. Another valuable opportunity for businesses that deal with high-value equipment is the option to make a digital twin, which is a virtual model of the physical machine. A digital twin allows running simulations to identify vulnerabilities of the equipment.

Why Hire an Internet of Things Consultant

This question can be considered from the perspective of a more general question “why hire a consultant at all?” because answers to both questions are quite similar. However, in the case of the Internet of Things, the answer will be a little more complicated because this technology is very complex and has a lot of hidden hazards. Ignoring them, you risk bringing the value of the developed IoT system almost down to zero. An IoT expert can address this risk, however, there is a challenge that modern universities don’t keep pace with technological changes and can’t provide relevant knowledge on some technologies like the Internet of Things. As a result, the labor market in the USA adopted and started to offer high-tech job posts with no college degree necessary. So we can conclude that a person can only become an expert in IoT through experience which makes the expertise extremely valuable.

  • You save money during the development
  • A development team will make fewer mistakes
  • An IoT system will be delivered on time
  • An IoT system will meet your business needs

6 Services Internet of Things Consultants Provide

IoT consulting services includes:

#1 Service: Scaling of already existing IoT solutions

As for existing IoT vendors, consultants help to scale their product or service offerings as well as discover new opportunities for expansion and new clients’ needs to meet.

#2 Service: Introduction of the Internet of Things technology

#3 Service: Data use assessment

The main asset IoT brings is data. IoT consultants analyze information within the organization, its access points, sources, ways of transmitting and make hypotheses about whether it’s possible to optimize data distribution. The effective use of data can improve productivity and facilitate sales. IoT consultants also introduce advanced analytics tools to derive insights from generated data.

#4 Service: IoT strategy development

As a part of IoT consulting, experts develop a new strategy of IoT implementation or update a current one. The strategy includes the description of business goals, needs, requirements, and ways the Internet of Things will help to achieve and meet them. This document describes either the way IoT will be implemented into an existing business model and improve its key metrics or how IoT can become a basis for an emerging business model.

#5 Service: Risk assessment

Implementing new technology involves many risks that should be addressed appropriately. Identifying and assessing risks such as issues with the adoption of the Internet of Things and the security of connected devices is also a part of an IoT consultant’s job.

#6 Service: Vendor analysis and recommendation

How to Сhoose an Internet of Things consultant

The process of choosing a reliable IoT consulting services provider is equal to the process of looking for a software development company. The full description of this process will require a separate whitepaper, so we only mention key steps and describe skills an IoT consultant should possess. If you want to know more about every step and you need a template sheet that can be used for the analysis of the companies, don’t hesitate to download our whitepaper about how to find a reliable software development company and what pitfalls to avoid.

  • Step 2: Defining requirements to the vendor
  • Step 3: Making a list of companies
  • Step 4: Shortlisting companies to contact
  • Step 5: Contacting and getting a quote
  • Step 6: Choosing the best

Skills and knowledge of a qualified IoT consultant:

Extensive hardware and software knowledge

Any IoT system is built on top of other technologies. The simplest IoT system required knowledge of cloud computing platforms (AWS services, Microsoft Azure, et.), data visualization tools (Power BI, Grafana, etc.), data transfer protocols (ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth LE, etc.), security platforms, and protocols (AES, DES, Mocana, LynxOS). Besides, there must be knowledge of different aspects of hardware since the main component of the Internet of Things is devices.

Skills in data management and analysis

Expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

Both artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data are technologies that make the IoT system even more powerful and helpful. Big data facilitates the Internet of Things by helping to turn massive data streams that the Internet of Things generates into meaningful insights, while AI enables automatic system adjustment based on these insights. AI is what can make devices more intelligent, and the more qualified IoT consulting service provider you find, the more intelligent your IoT system will be.

Expertise in Security

The security issue is one of the biggest challenges IoT vendors face. Poor protection of embedded software can lead to a breach of security in the whole IoT system. Consultant’s knowledge should include security software and best practices.

Update management

One of the less obvious pieces of knowledge you should look for is IoT device and system update management. Update management is a complex task that you will definitely face when you decide to update software, firmware, or deploy security patches. The IoT update management process should be well thought out before the start of the development. The knowledge and expertise of update management for an IoT consulting service provider are required.

SumatoSoft Approach to IoT Adoption

SumatoSoft is a software development company that provides Internet of Things development services as one of the key areas of its activities. For 9 years we help companies to implement IoT technology and address such issues like:

  • Remote fleet monitoring and control
  • Asset tracking
  • Real-time monitoring of cargo
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Smart traffic lights
  • Robotics
  • Integration with the cloud with two-way communication
  • Equipment predictive maintenance
  • Process automation
  • Resource consumption optimization
  • And more

How We Provide IoT Services

We use a complex approach during the development. Below you can find our IoT development strategy which consists of 4 stages, the first and the second stages are covered during the IoT consulting services.

Analysis and strategy preparation: main activities

  • Research of business challenges, background, goals
  • Identifying hardware requirements
  • Preliminary estimation of the data volume in the system
  • Describing a future IoT ecosystem and the benefits it brings
  • The development of a plan for the adaptation of the business process to the IoT
  • Identifying risks and ways to handle them
  • Elaboration of a system security strategy
  • Defining the scope of work
  • Time and budget estimation

Architecture mapping: main activities

  • Describing the IoT ecosystem taking into account scalability, fast deployment, security, and update issues
  • Preparation of a detailed IoT components map
  • Describing a data processing processes, methods, and tools
  • Prototype development
  • Preparation of the connectivity map
  • Hardware consulting
  • Search for an IoT device manufacturer and vendor
  • Describing the functions of every IoT component

Elaboration of a pilot version

  • Integration of a data storage into the system and modeling data processing environment
  • Connecting the first devices to the network
  • Integration of data analytics methods, models, and tools
  • Cross-browser application designing
  • Functional and non-functional testing
  • Security testing
  • Prototyping IoT data visualization dashboards
  • Making the design of user interfaces to manage the IoT devices

Full-cycle system development

  • Configuring automatic connection of IoT devices to the network
  • Implementing the device authentication process
  • The development of cross-platform user applications (web, mobile, VR/AR), using best practices in the field
  • Monitoring and optimization of cloud resources consumption
  • Device fleet expansion and resiliency test of the system
  • Post-release support and troubleshooting

IoT Systems We Builtd

Case 1: A Smartwatches App For Fitness Trainers

Challenge:

A client had a fitness club, where they hold 1-hour classes. In their work, they tried to create a “family-like” approach where knowing each client’s name and background is of high importance. But for obvious reasons, trainers can’t remember all the clients’ names and their info.

Solution:

We came up with the idea of building a network of wristbands and iBeacon receivers where the latter were placed around the perimeter of a gym. Each client with their wristband acts as an emitter of a BLE (Bluetooth low energy), while receivers obtain this information from each reachable wristband and transmit it to a server (over HTTP or MQTT or web sockets). After some preprocessing on a server, the trainer watches fetch client data and its location in a gym. As you can understand, all data transfers happen within milliseconds.

Case 2: An online monitoring system for industrial refrigerators

Challenge:

SumatoSoft was entrusted to develop administrative and end-user dashboards, implement features for data monitoring and visualization that came from multiple sensors like temperature, electricity, door sensors, etc., database management, and provide integration with the data source. We were also supposed to implement AI & ML algorithms for anomaly detection.

Solution:

SumatoSoft built an application that allowed us to monitor refrigerators in real-time thanks to JS-based extensive data visualization. By accessing historical data, we managed to implement machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies. Statistics from the past and anomaly detection together empowered the whole system with predictive maintenance, notifying administrators when refrigerators need to be repaired. Ultimately, the solution demonstrated great performance and brought a lot of useful insights.

Contact Us If You Found the Article Helpful

Whether you just started the journey with the Internet of Things or you are already on the way, SumatoSoft IoT consulting services are here to elaborate the strategy of IoT implementation for your business, while the development team will be glad to turn this strategy into a working IoT system. If you still have some questions unanswered feel free to download the whitepaper about IoT architecture, its advantages, real-life examples, stages, and layers.

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