How to select the right IoT device or sensors for your business
Companies have increasingly adopted IoT solutions due to the numerous benefits and opportunities they offer for businesses and operations. However, finding the right solution can be challenging. This article highlights some of the key factors to consider when choosing IoT.
IoT technology is flourishing at a breakneck speed and has proven to provide unprecedented opportunities for businesses of all sizes. It is estimated that by 2030, around 50 billion IoT devices will be in use around the world. With IoT technology, businesses are entering a world where operations are handled remotely with real-time data.
From other applications of IoT technology, IoT devices and sensors help businesses of all sizes save on utility bills of warehouses/offices and manage operations more efficiently. For example, IoT sensors can measure the occupancy of rooms at any given time and manage the lights or schedule the thermostat accordingly to minimize energy usage. IoT sensors collect a wide variety of information from products or assets, like location and condition status of temperature, humidity, etc., used in the supply chain. IoT devices and sensors provide insights to help businesses understand the real-time and future state of their products or assets.
Businesses are aware that IoT devices or sensors can bring increased profitability to their operations. But many struggle to select the correct IoT device or sensor that meets their specific needs.
Selecting the right IoT device or sensors can help businesses to increase efficiency and achieve objectives quickly. So, let’s understand the factors to consider when choosing IoT devices or sensors to ensure you apply the right devices to the right application.
Like any other conventional device, the accuracy of the IoT device or sensor is important to ensure efficient usage of the device in a particular location. The IoT device or sensor should be able to track the required information with precision. For example, sensors collecting real-time temperature/condition data can work wonderfully for a biotech company that needs to closely monitor temperature-sensitive biomedical material. Businesses should consider the accuracy and performance of the IoT device or sensor to ensure even situations like minor temperature changes are captured and trigger alerts.
Measuring the cost of IoT devices or sensors against the return on investment is an important aspect of decision-making. Businesses should consider factors such as reusability, offered scale or range, required infrastructure for the deployment of IoT devices or sensors, and meeting the stipulated budget. The administration of IoT devices also adds to the cost, thus devices that are easy to use and maintain can help to improve ROI.
IoT devices connected to enterprise networks are vulnerable to a host of security threats. It is imperative for businesses to understand the connection points of the IoT device or sensor before incorporating it into business operations. The security is compromised a lot of times because end users are unaware of the connections an IoT device or sensor establishes in the IoT ecosystem. Thus, businesses should research and check the security standard of the device or sensor before incorporating it into the business.
Whether an IoT sensor can be used for many years is an important consideration. Moreover, determining whether the device is universal in its application across business processes is also important. IoT devices may be deployed for a long time and maintained remotely, thus it is important to know the performance lifecycle over time and as the device ages within a changing environment. Decreased performance of devices can result in huge losses in situations where, for example, devices or sensors monitor temperature-sensitive products that are transported in a supply chain. Thus, investing in IoT sensors that have a longer life span should be considered.
In an IoT ecosystem, connectivity is a crucial component. IoT networks use a wide range of different communication protocols, including short-range protocols (such as ZigBee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi); mobile networks; or long-range radio protocols (such as LoRa, NFC). Thus, the IoT devices or sensors should be able to connect and support these and other communication protocols.
The process of adopting IoT in your business can be daunting, IoT platforms make the device selection process easy, based on an organization’s specific needs, and reduce development time. IoT platforms, service providers, and integration partners help businesses to build IoT connectivity and efficiently manage IoT devices. The right IoT devices are determined by conducting an assessment with solution experts, identifying the shortcomings of the current operational conditions, and administrating the IoT devices remotely. Some use cases of IoT sensors and monitoring devices incorporated in IoT solutions are asset tracking, door or window sensing, energy monitoring and conservation, etc.
Platforms like Cubica PropSight and Particle can track, monitor, and manage multiple IoT devices from a single dashboard. Real-time data captured from IoT devices can be visualized accessed via a dashboard from a mobile phone app, computer, or tablet.
IoT platforms also utilize communication protocols such as Long Range (LoRa) WAN, Bluetooth (BLE), Near Field Communication (NFC), etc., to transmit data from one sensing IoT device to another and the Internet. For instance, businesses utilize Cubica’s Bluetooth sensors for exchanging data between fixed and mobile locations over short distances.
IoT devices have proven to bring impactful changes in many aspects of business operations. The ability of the devices to communicate to a centralized network help in data collection and finding insights. The increase in the number of IoT devices in the market will push innovation and competition in businesses. The adoption of IoT devices to address specific business needs can sometimes be complicated, thus IoT platforms can help to make the transition easy and smooth. IoT platforms offer secure IoT integrations to build and connect IoT devices and are extensively utilized in various businesses.