What is IoT orchestration?

IoT orchestration

IoT orchestration integrates separate systems, software, and sensors into a single management platform.

An orchestration platform allows you to view, manage and set automated rules on every piece of data that currently exists in the platform, resulting in powerful and previously unavailable applications.

Why do you want IoT orchestration?

There are a few key benefits to orchestration:
  • Offers the ability to integrate IoT with existing business workflows and systems. If you already have a system that covers part of your connected enterprise, you can expand on it.
  • Provides a single platform that unifies data from current and future connected devices and systems.
  • Allows you to make more sophisticated use of data by analyzing and acting on multiple data pieces that were previously in separate applications.

IoT orchestration can have a direct and positive impact on your organization in many cases. For example,
your Operations team can benefit from a single, holistic view of all the digitized entities they are managing, with many automated responses to events. Once they have enough data, they can predict failure points and use analytics to improve efficiencies.

Logistic can track a complex, multi-party supply chain, end-to-end. They can use the data to analyze shipping conditions and preemptively adjust delivery in case of failure or to assure buyer of shipping conditions throughout the process.

Smart building operators can connect and jointly control all of the existing building management systems and sensors.

These are just a few examples. There are a lot more orchestration use cases.

Key requirements for profitable IoT orchestration deployments:
  1. The ability to connect any system or sensor into the platform. This may sound obvious, but if you are limited to certain sensors, protocols or software, you might not be able to scale your digitalization efforts in the future. The most basic requirement is that everything can be connected, no ifs, ands or buts…
  2. Now that you have all your data on the platform, it has to be usable! You must be able to extract any view you wish, set any rule, and analyze historical or cross-entity data with ease. You’re collecting all the data for a reason.
  3. How fast can you connect a system or sensor? If integrating a BMS takes a year, and the next system another year, it’s unlikely that you’ll get to the market in time, and even more unlikely that it will be a profitable project.
  4. As a corollary to the time, what kind of engineering input does integration require? If each integration requires a large input of engineering hours or professional services, it will severely limit your ability to design profitable projects.
  5. You need to be able to configure dashboards or rules without a hefty engineering investment, in order to ensure profitability.
  6. The typical orchestration implementation will have multiple sets of users with varying data requirements. You’ll want to enable different access permission levels through multi-tenant hierarchies, by groups, regions and more. You’ll need to serve employees, as well as partners and other 3rd parties.
Here are some final thoughts:

IoT is growing organically right now, from the devices and up. Chances are, some of your systems come with a management platform. However, the benefit of having a handful of management platforms for separate devices or systems is dubious. It may be even worse if you have many of those separate connected systems, but need to manage them centrally — this happens often in buildings and logistics.

Someone in your value chain will be managing a master orchestration platform that ties together all the systems and sensors. We hope it will be you!

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