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Extended enterprise

Four questions to ask before deploying an extended enterprise

businessman looking to charts Source: iStock/ismagilov

Organizations looking to take advantage of the Internet of Things will be poised to capitalize on numerous new business opportunities in the future. As hardware and networking costs have decreased, the amount of data available to the enterprise has exploded and will continue to increase. In fact, the number of connected devices throughout the world is expected to grow to 14 billion by 2022. It’s not a matter of if organizations will be transformed by the IoT, but a matter of when. Those businesses differentiating themselves now, through innovative IoT applications, will have a significant advantage over their competitors.

However, harnessing the power of the IoT is much easier said than done. Organizations often limit the return on investment of their IoT deployments because they solely focus on connecting their products – not the enterprise. To maximize ROI, companies need to derive value from the data generated through connected assets and devices.

Initial considerations for an extended enterprise

By taking that next step to incorporate innovative IoT applications in your business, you gain the ability to share data across all stakeholders in the value chain, which will result in streamlined business practices. Even better, it puts the company several steps ahead of your competition.

"Selecting the right IoT software provider can mean the difference between a game-changing business innovation and a failed launch."
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It is important to select an IoT platform that is functionally robust, able to connect devices, integrate multiple IT systems or services, and can effectively share and process data. It is also imperative that the software features a visually appealing interface that is simple, yet sophisticated and highly intuitive. Last but not least, organizations also should choose a provider that can provide engineering and product development expertise.

Four questions to ask of each system in consideration

  • Is the platform able to engage various stakeholders in a simplified way?
    Anyone within your stakeholder groups should feel comfortable with the platform. They should have the ability to write algorithms and process data without help from IT.
  • Is the platform able to connect various types of machines, assets and devices?
    Since you are connecting an enterprise, not a product, the ability to integrate and manage an assorted network of connected devices and allow users to share information is a must.
  • Can the platform integrate easily into various IT systems and services?
    Look for an option that offers a standard set of integration points. This ensures the platform will have the ability to push data into other IT systems or interact with other services.
  • Does the provider have the ability to bring in subject matter experts and engineering/product development teams to enhance the product?
    This is an ever-changing space, so you need someone who has the expertise to help you make the transition now and in the future as technology evolves.

"During your search, be on the lookout for software providers that label software for the IoT as IoT platforms."
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Most genuine IoT platforms offer a set of generic functions. If you keep those four questions in mind, you will be able to identify and pass on those offerings claiming to be something they aren’t.

Taking advantage of your extended enterprise benefits

Once your system is in place and fully operational, you can then maximize the business benefits of digital and automation processes. From customer intelligence to marketing efforts, your business processes will be streamlined for stakeholders across the extended enterprise. Each area will have the opportunity to take this previously unavailable data to enhance their place on the value chain and strengthen the business.

Is your company about to become an extended enterprise?

Find out about how Bosch.IO (formerly Bosch Software Innovations) and Innova, an electronic vehicle manufacturer, created a data-driven improvement process that allowed Innova to capture feedback from users and third parties for optimized product improvement.

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The Bosch IoT Suite is an open IoT platform for all domains.