Integration Pitfalls: Embedding IoT Platforms Into the Enterprise IT Landscape
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Deloitte reports that companies now use an average of 976 applications, 133 apps more than a year ago. Only 28% of these are integrated. The issue of poor integration of business processes is urgent nowadays since enterprises may lose over $500K per year because of it.
The popularity of IoT technology is gaining momentum because this technology is a "glue" that can connect devices, processes, and people. Recently, Victor Kmita, CEO @ XME.digital, became a speaker during the CABA Intelligent Buildings Council, talking about the basis for proper integration and embedding IoT into the enterprise IT landscape.
We decided to share core points of that speech and business insights that will help you dive deeper into the Internet of Things evolution process, understand its role for proper integrations inside a company and choose the most appropriate integration strategy.
Companies Become Digital Service Providers. What Problems Does It Require to Resolve?
Did you notice how businesses around turned into digital service providers? Today, each company is an IT company since all enterprises base their activity on the digital ground. This focus on digital-first services turned Amazon from a marketplace into a business giant with a broad commercial offering. Starbucks became a coffee seller. Now it's an enterprise famous for its fresh approach to customer experience. Or let's take Bosch. Now it's not only a manufacturer. It's a company promoting technology in each coffee maker or dishwasher.
What's in common between all these companies?
Digital services provision lets them grow from companies into enterprises. They transformed their business models, managed to make their offerings wider, and expanded revenue streams and audiences.
Because of this transformation, they faced similar challenges and solved them similarly.
This way makes businesses follow a huge "to-do" list. They need to set up well-designed business processes, ensure uninterrupted data flow, move to Cloud for better performance and boost the user experience of their customers and employees…
But the core difficulty here is the sky-high growth of IT landscape complexity. Businesses are working based on a set of software products and tools. Then, the shift in development direction makes them offer new services requiring relevant support from the tech side. Therefore, companies implement new tools and technologies for these purposes. The number of dependencies rises. So, the question is, "How to make old school and new school live happily?"
Here proper integration becomes a priority since it's impossible to provide advanced services and remain highly scalable without a seamless work of all system elements. The Internet of Things can gather everything under one roof, so you just need to decide what integration strategy will be suitable for your business.
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Top 5 IoT Integration Strategies and Their Red Flags
"Let's take IoT products for facilities as an example to show the role and meaning of integrations. Usually, when we talk about narrow solutions, like air control systems or electronic locking systems, it's offered as a complete solution, starting from sensors and up to the fancy dashboard with notifications. If it fits the business user's expectations, then it's fine. However, if the dashboard it's not the end of the process and requires connection to the internal organization processes like synchronization of an access management system with peoples' shifts which tends to change permanently. When it requires the provision of complex services to the outer, 3rd party apps, it becomes dramatically harder, if not impossible, to have out-of-the-box solutions. So, it requires integrating the signals and data streams, building complex workflows with many dependencies and conversions."
Victor Kmita, CEO @ XME.digital
As seen, integrations come to the rescue when companies need to get rid of mess in business processes and software operations and when they will use or offer non-linear services requiring support from 3rd parties.
At this stage, managers are thinking about the most appropriate option for integration strategy. They have at least five ways to choose from:
API-led integrations - are the most widely used option where integrations are built via API. It allows connecting seamlessly with any in-house and third-party systems and breaks down information silos across a company.
Enterprise Service Busses (ESB) is the traditional approach to integration. It's an enterprise platform that distributes burdens among connected components.
Middleware - this type of integration requires the availability of middle layer software connecting different elements and controlling the scope of their operation.
Manual - the strategy requires manual setup and running of integrations.
Singe dashboard via low code platform - safe integration allowing data transfer between in-house and third-party services in real-time.
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Each of these approaches has its visible pros allowing companies to build integrations in the way their business needs. There's no versatile strategy helping each enterprise. It all depends on specific conditions. However, the most popular options now are API-led, middleware, and single dashboard strategies.
Meanwhile, before choosing one of them as a basis, you should also consider their red flags to discover the core drawbacks or difficulties you will face.
Single dashboard via low-code platform
How XME.Fast Code Platform Can Help
Among other scenarios, a single dashboard via low code platform integration strategy seems the most relevant since it allows one to remain flexible and highly-scalable, open to innovations without fear of poor interaction with the existing software.
If you've opted for this way, the XME.fast code platform can become a handy tool to help marry all your services, expand revenue streams and supercharge customer experience. Let's consider its capabilities trying to map them on building management operations.
A modern building management system (BMS) naturally expects user interaction based on its available functionality. However, with XME, we enable the conversion of these functions into a well-designed customer journey based on real user scenarios and omnichannel communication, including chatbots, apps, and push notifications.
With commercial relationships in mind, the Property Manager is willing to offer essential services and extend them to a complete variety of primary and supplementary services, own and partner offers, and naturally enable new revenue streams inside and around the core business. XME reveals these opportunities by having a service catalog, monetization, and billing capabilities. Not even saying about doing all customer management and interactions required for a careful service provider.
The same story comes for building internal organization processes, connecting BMS, ERP, operational tools, and occupants of these buildings. XME offers a way to implement these, usually case-specific flows, by its fast-coding capabilities and configurable workspaces and dashboards. It covers cases from sensor replacement to real-time alert analysis and conditional escalation.
XME.fast code platform makes it possible to combine cloud and on-premise systems into solid flows, integrate third-party apps and expose secured integration API for any kind of integration.
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