How Using Realistic Data Can Help Improve Your ROI in IoT Investments
MAY 29, 2018 19:35 PM
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How Using Realistic Data Can Help Improve Your ROI in IoT Investments

By: Anand Kameswaran, CEO, KnowThings
Many businesses and enterprises launch headlong into IoT without drawing on realistic data to make the jump profitable or even doable. To fully exploit the value of IoT, one must take a serious look at both direct and indirect costs. In other words, what are the ROI benefits?  Yes, IoT can provide a virtual avalanche of data. But it must be subjected to analytics and actionable insights to ensure the enterprise moves in the right direction, that is, its business objective. The impetus the drives any IoT investment should be the here and now, i.e., its measurable and sustained impact. 
Risk vs. Reward 
Complacency has been the downfall of many businesses in this dynamic world economy. While few have the clairvoyance to adopt IoT with evangelical zeal, naysayers anchored to legacy systems can eventually bottleneck profits. The benefits of investing in IoT have simply become too tangible. But where to begin investing?  As most savvy businesses have learned, it pays to start small and narrow the scope of one’s IoT investment. Properly delineated parameters supported by simulated realistic data (synthetic data that mimics the behavior of IoT devices) can help businesses zero in on IoT benefits. 
Business Objective—the “End Game”
As with any program that seeks to maximize ROI, one must be clear about the business objective. What’s the end game for investing in IoT? Cut costs? Boost revenue? Overcome inertial limits that prevent operations from reaching their full potential? Here again, simulated realistic data can help “de-risk” the IoT investment via its ability to simulate and understand one’s ROI before the investments are made. The signposts for your IoT solution should lead directly to your business objective. Remember too, that solving your tactical needs today may enhance IoT’s protracted value in the months and years ahead. 
Exploiting Data to Drive Specific Outcomes
Early IoT deployments should be targeted to address individual business initiatives. These must be viewed, not as IoT initiatives but focused on spearheading specific business outcomes: things like cutting service and warranty costs, increasing asset uptime, improving safety, government regulation compliance, and adding new revenue generators. Here, again, simulated realistic data can be fully exploited, analyzed, and employed to automatically drive the disparate facets of business processes. One can then begin to realize that ROI-producing business initiatives start to emerge as IoT initiatives. 
Smarter Devices, Realistic Data
As tech-savvy observers are sure to admit, the device science of IoT has clearly morphed to the “smart level.” What’s needed is synthetic data that mimics the behavior of IoT devices. This “realistic” data matches the data pattern type, latency, as well as the typical variation by understanding and learning the sequencing of data flow at the byte level –assisted using a machine-learning algorithm. This approach is invaluable because today’s simulators generate fake data that does not closely resemble real data.  This makes it more difficult to leverage simulation as a substitute for real devices and their ability to test outcomes in advances with a high level of confidence.
Businesses now have silos of data and information they can mine to open new opportunities for growth and improvement. Armed with reservoirs of “realistic” data, businesses have the potential to not only significantly enhance B2C relationships but also B2B marketing. Employing analytics and AI, businesses now have the power to adapt to roller-coaster consumer demands, while maintaining a rewarding customer experience.
Taking Analytics to the Edge
An intelligent way to leverage the power of IoT is to allow as much of the analytics to be performed at the edge of the network as possible. After all, this is where the real data resides. Edge computing devices collect data from locally connected IoT sensors and apply some level of analytics or processing at the edge before it’s sent to the network. This effectively reduces the pressure on the wireless network while providing continuous real-time access to the data, thus improving productivity.
Using realistic data to improve ROI in IoT investments is a sound strategy, but only so far as one remains focused on tangible business goals. One needs to keep in mind that IoT devices are getting smarter, which underscores the importance of analytics in mining the true value of data to improve many aspects of an enterprise. is a CA Technologies startup accelerator based in Plano, Texas. Using patented technologies, we are building a machine learning based IoT device virtualizer to help IoT development teams quickly build advanced virtual device prototypes, early-stage test and development scenarios with realistic data to help development teams bring their ideas to fruition faster and at a lower cost. For more information, visit
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