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VSEs and SMEs: 3 tips to get you started in IoT

In recent years, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have seen tremendous success. Connected objects are now part of our daily lives. Watches, cars and even homes are connected today. The market is buoyant, so much so that companies are getting into it. If individuals see a certain benefit in IoT, professionals are not left out. Large companies are not the only ones affected by this innovation. VSEs and SMEs also have every interest in embarking on this adventure. How to do it ?

What is IoT?

Without knowing it, the IoT (Internet of Things) or internet of objects has been part of our daily lives for some time now. At home, in stores, on the street… IoT technologies are present and make our lives easier. Sincewe are talking about connected objects, we are talking about IoT.

This technology allows machines to communicate with each other before sending us information. This is particularly the case for GPS and even connected watches.

IoT, what are the challenges for businesses?

If technologies are a real boost in everyday life, they are more so in businesses. Having IoT devices allows you tooptimize performance and the efficiency of a company, whatever its size. As connected objects are practically autonomous, they reduce operating costs and increase the profitability of the company. For example, IoT technologies will offload secondary tasks, allowing employees to concentrate on the main activity. They will also be a lever to improve the customer experience.

How to get started in IoT?

Getting started in IoT is an interesting project when you are a VSE/SME. To get the most out of it, it is important to study your strategy.

Find a good electronics designer and manufacturer

When you’re launching into the unknown, it’s best to be accompanied. For your IoT launch project, a company specializing in embedded electronics will be of great help to you. It will support you in the design and manufacture of electronic cards necessary to make a connected object. For optimal use, your on-board objects must meet your needs and one or more problems of your business. Otherwise, they would just be another burden on you. Calling on an electronic design office will allow you to personalize the functionalities of the IoT.

Electronic technology

To choose it, a few criteria must be taken into account, starting with the price. As a VSE/SME, turn to an ESN (Digital Services Company) which offers prices within your budget. Then choose a company on a human scale, but which has the necessary skills. Find out about its achievements through its site and customer reviews. See if the services offered allow you to implement your projects. For greater security, opt for a multidisciplinary office that masters all technologies. Finally, before committing to a service provider, test the tools. A reliable electronics design office will offer you testing and validation phases.

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Having an industrial design engineer on your team would also be a great asset when embarking on the IoT adventure. His mechanical and electronic skills will greatly benefit you in the design of your connected devices.

Think about the purpose of the IoT system

Before you embark on implementing your IoT strategy, it is important to define your objectives. Why do you want to implement such a system within your company? You should know that IoT will not have the same impact in every company. The size of this will not necessarily be a predominant criterion. It is how you use IoT that will determine its effectiveness.

Do you want connected machines and objects to increase productivity, reduce costs or improve your customer service? These are questions you will need to think about. Once the purpose of the system has been established, you will finally be able to design a personalized and adapted tool to your needs.

Evaluating the purpose of your project will also allow you to determine the objects you want to create or adapt. It is indeed possible to create new IoT devices based on your requirements. You can also make existing products “connected”. In both cases, the costs incurred will have to be considered. Expertise will therefore be necessary.

Measure the impact of IoT on your business

Because you are going to integrate a new element into your organizational system, it makes sense to evaluate its impacts. The IoT will change all or part of the way you work, so you will have to review your entire basic strategy. Will the use of IoT technologies require training? Does the device require technical skill to operate? How much adaptation time does it take before mastering it? These are points on which we will need to focus.

Before you actually launch into IoT, weigh the pros and cons of the project, in the short and long term. Also see if within your team you have competent human resources to design the system. If not, will using an outside agent be profitable?

Either way, don’t jump straight into a large-scale project. Test the IoT little by little until you assess its real impacts. Above all, do not neglect the security aspect. As the IoT is linked to networks and collects data, the risks of hacking cannot be ruled out. These can affect both your company’s data and that of your customers. In this case, it will be necessary to provide a major security system which may represent a significant additional cost. If well thought out, your IoT strategy can benefit you.