IoT Build vs. Buy & What You Need To Know

It’s now evident how many industries are getting great benefits after integrating IoT into their business ecosystem. Though there are results, the hard part comes when choosing an IoT platform that can help a business reach its goal faster. This is where businesses have to choose between building an IoT platform that’s just perfect for their environment or buying one that’s already been established as an ideal external innovation tech.

To obtain the best value that the Internet of Things offers to businesses; like cost reduction, better customer experience, improved business models and revenue streams, you would need to either build one from scratch or get one from an IoT platform provider that specializes in IoT business integration.

Building an IoT platform

 Building an IoT platform gives enterprises complete control over their IoT solution. It can be customized. The data collected and even the end-user experience can be modified. But the catch is that doing all of this requires technological expertise in not just the Internet of Things but also in various other technologies that augment IoT’s capabilities like big data, AI and machine learning to name a few.

The company will need to hire experts to tailor an IoT solution packed with only the needed features, which can be both costly and complex. This also increases time to market. There will also be a steep learning curve if the company doesn’t have experience with IoT. A complex IoT solution will require appropriately-configured hardware, software, the cloud, apps, security and big data analytics to efficiently work together to deliver desired results. Navigating among all these technologies is complex in itself.

Buying an IoT platform

 This option is for those enterprises that don’t underestimate the risks and challenges associated with building an IoT platform in-house. Building one such platform may seem alluring as the result, if the development goes according to plan, can be the perfect IoT solution for their business.

But what if things go wrong at some point?

When you buy a proven IoT platform, you are essentially relying on the technology & digital innovation expertise and experience of the IoT platform provider. The only major challenge in buying an IoT platform comes when choosing the right IoT specialist offering the right platform that meets all your solution requirements.

The right provider will know exactly what your business would require from the IoT platform right from the beginning, and will ensure a smooth transition into an IoT-enabled ecosystem. When you are building a solution, you may only realize later during development that something is amiss with your solution. Happens more often.

Buying a platform is certainly the safest alternative of the two, especially if the company doesn’t have any experience with IoT. Reduced time to market is an added advantage. Risks are considerably minimised and the cost of the IoT solution is significantly lower compared to recruiting professionals to build one. Additionally, many IoT platform providers offer customizable IoT platforms.

But as in all cases, there are a few cons as well.

Some platform providers deliver device clouds instead of a functioning IoT platform. These device clouds may serve their purpose in managing connected things but fail when it comes to application enablement. Sometimes, enterprises may fail to identify their requirements properly and may choose a platform that won’t suit their business needs. There is also a matter of dependency wherein the enterprise will need to rely on the platform provider to maintain, update and enhance their platforms over time.

So how can a business navigate through all this to come to a decision?

Making things easier

 Understand your business problem

  • Define the functional and architectural scope of the product
  • Extensive market research
  • Assess investment & risks for both in-house development & buying a platform
  • Make your decision

Remember that the ideal IoT solution should be fairly comprehensive, and should effectively and seamlessly integrate various business components without compromising security, data analytics and presentation. If you are planning to buy an IoT platform, make sure to check how the provider dealt with security & privacy issues in the past, and assess how the platform handles security issues without complications. The provider should also give you a clear picture of how you can monitor and manage on-field IoT devices.

Conclusion

 In a nutshell, if your enterprise wants to quickly and safely deploy an IoT solution, buying one from an experienced IoT PES vendor is the right way to go. Building one takes more time and demands more monetary investment as well, with a pay-off dependent on the technology expertise and development efficiency.

At WeMakeIoT, we offer a comprehensive IoT platform that has all the mandatory features that can connect to any device, sensors or cloud with easy to use applications and configurable dashboard without any complex workflow.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us.