The Internet of Things (IoT) is like a vast array of ingredients that can be combined to cook up a delicious and nutritious meal.
The ingredients are millions of connected IoT devices and the untold streams of fast-moving data arising from them. The mixing bowl is where these ingredients come together and are enhanced or enriched so that they can be cooked into the result you desire – i.e. a profitable strategy.
The challenge lies in getting the right ingredients into the mixing bowl and then making sure they come together in a meaningful way. Meanwhile, there may be many legacy components in your IoT “kitchen” that need to be part of the solution.
Integration is the key to connecting all of your existing enterprise solutions – whether it is the latest ERP solution or an obscure piece of legacy technology – to create an IoT framework.
An IoT integration module can simplify this process by offering:
- Application Integration
IoT programs often require data from backend systems in provide context and insight into data from sensors and other devices. But integrating systems on a point-to-point basis is costly and complex. Application integration reduces integration costs and development time, increases business agility and helps organizations to achieve end-to-end visibility across systems – from ERP to back office and IoT.
- Big Data Integration
The role of integration in IoT data becomes infinitely more important as companies begin to focus on using the data as a competitive differentiator. An integration platform can help you populate Big Data sources with sensor data to visualize it all and in turn to help shape the customer experience. This also means you can better understand when complex components require maintenance, among other IoT use cases.
- Cloud Service Integration
- B2B Integration
B2B integration refers to exchanging business documents electronically with your partners. Designed to facilitate information exchange across multiple B2B systems, a B2B gateway can transform and improve efficiency and effectiveness. In a fully automated IoT project, you can provide improved service by integrating your B2B processes such as ordering parts or scheduling service appointments for an end-to-end use case.
- API Management
API management is in many ways an extension of integration —because it’s within integration technologies that many organizations are defining the data structures and building out services that they are exposing as APIs. API management provides a developer’s portal for sharing information about your APIs and a gateway for runtime security of your APIs. For an open IoT project, where third parties are providing endpoints for gathering data, for example, an API developer portal is how you let your developer community know how to tie into your system. Plus, APIs are often used to share insights from IoT data as a service to internal and external audiences.
We believe the right approach to developing your own IoT framework involves finding partners with the critical integration modules needed to create an IoT framework, ones that slot in with what you already have.
Software AG has identified four critical modules, or pillars, for tools and services to integrate and enrich data from different sources: IoT Integration, IoT Analytics, IoT Hub and IoT Modeling & Portfolio Management. These pillars comprise our modular IoT Platform, built on Software AG’s Digital Business Platform.
We have shown you here how to cook up and integration strategy for the IoT and will be exploring the other modules in future blogs.