Internet of Things (IoT) Challenges

Internet of Things (IoT) Challenges
November 12, 2016/0 Comments/in Large Scale IoT /by Sinan Ozmen
Although, many research and advisory firms provide very positive insight for future IoT business, actual deployment is not achieving the forecasted numbers. A large-scale adoption is necessary to achieve the impact projected by these forecasts. However, many barriers exist for the large-scale adoption of IoT services. Scarcity of skilled developers, lack of interoperability and standardization among systems, vendor dependency and associated high costs are a few of these barriers. Several aspects of IoT, including ubiquitous communication, scalability, interoperability, security, maintenance and support require the need for highly specialized and highly customized solutions and make IoT difficult for widespread deployment.

All phases of IoT services, from idea to commercial rollout, are still full of challenges and involve a large group of stakeholders including; service developers, service providers, infrastructure providers, operators, equipment manufacturers, integrators and most importantly end-users. The interactions between the stakeholders during the process of building a commercial IoT solution are currently very complex and overwhelming. In addition, there is too much emphasis on technology, while commercialization aspects, such as business planning, revenue models, market entry strategy, and time-to-market are overlooked to a great extent. As a result, market-uptake of IoT and revenue opportunities are still progressing slowly.

While, the root cause of these challenges are economic, industrial, social, and also technical, the most important issue that prevents large scale deployment of IoT services is financial. The economic benefits of IoT investments are not clear to the stakeholders of the IoT value chain. It is not easy for investors to formulate viable return of investment (RoI) and revenue models for potential IoT investment opportunities. Current available solutions are not helping either. This financially unattractive environment is caused by several factors:

The time from Idea to Commercial Rollout (Time to Value – TtV) is too long for IoT services.

The interactions between IoT ecosystem stakeholders are very complex and comes with serious limitations.

The process flow of IoT Services and activities for all phases, including development, deployment, monitoring, reporting, maintenance and support is not streamlined and simplified with an end-to-end perspective
Many of the solution and platform providers focus on one aspect of the overall equation, whether it be connectivity, device management, application management, data storage, security or data analytics. A central platform that unites and integrates these dispersed solutions is missing.

The other important issues for large scale deployment of IoT services are related to technical and social aspects:

Most of the components at the edge of the network are connected or modelled to be connected directly to the cloud. In this architecture model, the processing, including data collection, data storage, data analytics and decision making are done by the cloud. This model creates very heavy message traffic and requires big bandwidth and processing power. It is not a feasible and sustainable architecture for available network bandwidth and processing power.

Direct connectivity of the nodes to the cloud produces weaknesses on the ways the system handles both consumer-driven personal data and enterprise-driven big data. Centralized data collection and data storage exposes critical, private and protected user data and creates vulnerabilities and jeopardizes data security. IoT service providers will have to transform how to store and protect data and at the same time make the data accessible, especially for key verticals such as healthcare and financial services.

IoT service developers don’t have flexible and easy to use software development and proof of concept (PoC) environments with starter kits, SDKs, documentation and readily available assistance for fast service development.

The availability of vast number of component suppliers and the lack of standards create complex integration and interoperability within hardware and software components of the IoT ecosystem
IoT Challenges (Published on LinkedIn – November 12, 2016)