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Beyond Roll-out: Mastering the Full Life Cycle of Your IoT Project

TommasoEsmanech

There’s something important missing from a lot of the Internet of Things projects that I see businesses rolling out: a strategy for managing what happens after the implementation. Companies often overlook the need for a solid plan to get the most value out of the infrastructure and software over the full life cycle of those assets, as their IoT initiative evolves and expands.

GettyImages-507896609_super_800_0_72_srgb.jpgIt’s totally understandable that companies’ initial focus should be on getting the IoT system up and into production. There’s a sense of urgency in many IoT initiatives. It may come from excitement about benefits that are ripe for the taking. Or there may be an element of competitive pressure from organizations that have already achieved good results.

Still, it’s worth taking a step back to consider how you’re going to manage, maintain, and expand a solution that may, after all, consume infrastructure over five to ten years or more. As I noted in my previous post (The Next Leap in Smart Manufacturing: The Magic is at the Edge), the companies that we see having the most success with IoT are those that start with the big picture firmly in mind. And that picture should include everything that happens after the system is up and running, from software version control to security updates, from firmware changes to license fee management.

Fortunately, IoT initiatives can achieve those goals by leveraging the most effective best practices and technologies of modern IT infrastructure management. For example, infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities can provide expand-as-you-grow flexibility and attractive subscription-based economics. Infrastructure-as-code capabilities enable you to manage, deploy, and maintain the software infrastructure in a very automated, easy way, as well as providing the foundation for successful DevOps initiatives.

With a comprehensive IoT infrastructure life cycle management solution, you can:

1. Cut through costly, time-consuming complexity. The distributed compute environments typical of IoT deployments involve much more complexity than simply connecting PCs to sensors, and sensors to a control center. Devices on the Edge will run a lot of software. They are increasingly subject to datacenter-like infrastructure requirements like data security compliance and continuous monitoring. The right tools enable you to meet those requirements, break through operational bottlenecks and quickly deploy updates across the infrastructure. Infrastructure as code, for example, frees up your staffers from manual configurations and one-off scripts, so they’re available to work on more innovative projects.

2. Root out risk. With complexity comes delay, and with delay comes risk. Let’s say you need to run a security update because a new vulnerability has been identified, whether it’s in an operating system, application, middleware or even firmware. Until that update gets done, you have a security hole. You want to push it out as quickly as possible. With the right tools, you can do that with the push of a button.

An IoT life cycle management solution can help you mitigate risks around version control, too, ensuring consistency across the infrastructure. It can help you guard against disruptions caused by conflicting versions of software. Or finding that you’re dependent on a version that’s not supported anymore because it’s three or four years old. Or paying unnecessary license fees.

3. Roll out new use cases quickly. Successful IoT deployments quickly attract attention, and people start to think about ways to expand the initiative to cover adjacent areas of value. With a life cycle management solution, it becomes much easier to implement new capabilities. You might start with predictive analytics, for example, and then decide that you want to add cameras to the infrastructure. (And let’s bear in mind that in an IoT situation, those cameras may be forty feet above the ground, in the ceiling of a facility.) Instead of having to assign a staff member to connect a camera to the ethernet port on a bunch of different boxes, and then deploy software on all of those boxes, you can deploy and implement from a central point. With infrastructure-as-code, it’s as simple as hitting a button.

HPE Pointnext can help you maximize the value of your IoT investment across the complete life cycle of the infrastructure. We’re deeply familiar with the best practices that enable organizations to develop and deploy new IoT applications quickly and effectively. And we know how to implement true infrastructure-as-code capabilities to simplify and accelerate management of your hardware and software assets. It’s all part of an end-to-end IoT services portfolio that can take you all the way from initial planning, to production, to ongoing operations.

Learn more about how HPE Pointnext can help you master the Intelligent Edge.

Join the experts in Madrid

Stocksy_79085 smaller.jpgWe’d love to meet you in person. Join thousands of IT professionals from around the world for Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s largest IT event of the year: HPE Discover. Learn the latest in trends and technology opportunities by checking out the HPE Pointnext pavilion. For more on successful IoT adoption, see “Insights and new consumption models for edge services that will help you create a plan for successful IoT adoption” led by IoT and Intelligent Edge expert Yanick Pouffary.

Have questions, comments or suggestions? Reach out to me on twitter: @tesmanech

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About the Author

TommasoEsmanech

Intelligent Edge, IoT & Edgeline Director, HPE Pointnext