We have all heard the hype around the Internet of Things (IoT). Every major analyst suggests that Internet-enabled devices will change all industries and all businesses on the face of this earth. Regardless of crystal-ball projections of billions upon billions of connected devices, the fact remains that most businesses are only now starting to visualize ways to implement and take advantage of IoT in their organization.
A successful IoT requires the interaction of people, process, data, and things. If all of those components work together in a coordinated, automated fashion, then organizations will be able to lower operating costs, increase production output, reduce manufacturing times, eliminate waste, and make safer work environments.
Yet when I speak with executives of large corporations and small businesses alike, they can see the value and possibilities of IoT but I hear the same thing: How do we start? The IoT end-game simply seems too far away and, for many, somewhat of a gamble considering the amount of time and money necessary to see their ideas commercialized.
The cost and complexity of the product design process are significant barriers to innovation. From initial concept to commercialization of an IoT project development, there is a gap – and it’s BIG. Today, many companies are falling into it and don’t know how to get out.
Executives and developers want flexibility to validate ideas, field test different configurations, and evolve prototypes based upon feedback rather than building a full, polished IoT product immediately. Without such an incremental design approach it is similar to constructing a brand new home without a proper blueprint.
Designers, engineers, VARs, system integrators, MSPs, ISVs, and anyone wanting to begin an IoT project must first build a proof of concept. It can be a technical challenge to rapidly prototype an IoT product from scratch.
Even experienced developers familiar with IoT have to source the devices, sensors, and motors; connect these devices; then stream the data into the cloud and make everything communicate with each other. These tasks have to be accomplished before developers can even start building out their use case for commercial use.
With IoT still in its infancy, tools have not been readily available to make the rapid prototyping process easy and cost-effective. The industry is in desperate need for something that accomplishes what AutoCAD does for architects to get their projects started.