Inspired by the success of Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco and SAP in Internet of Things (IoT), there is a long list of entrepreneurs in India and abroad who have ventured into this unconventional yet flourishing industry. And according to Gartner, the sector is expected to generate $309 billion revenue annually by 2020.
But success is always encircled by challenges and only those who rely on right plans and policies can strategically weather all storms. Apart from the usual business challenges that every startup faces in its inception stage, IoT startups confront some additional problems that resist their growth and endanger sustainability.
What Impedes IoT Startups In Moving Ahead
Notwithstanding the funding, working capital, marketing and recruitment challenges, IoT companies in their initial days encounter various types of technological and infrastructure challenges that should be addressed with utmost care and sincerity. In this realm, major challenges are …
Lack of Experience To Manage A Complex System
The IoT is a complex blend of various hardware, software, and other digital technologies that help to connect countless systems and devices using the cloud-based technology. Due to this highly complicated mechanism where proper compliance of all the protocols and standards is a difficult task and even a slight negligence can result in a big damage to the process. Recovery of the same may cause an additional financial burden to the organisation.
Therefore, qualifications and experience of the top managers are not substantial enough to prevent risks until and unless the entire technical team follows their guidance and quality policy of the organisation. Insufficient knowledge and experience of the core team can cause recurrent challenges and problems.
Connectivity Is A Major Roadblock
Connectivity is the oxygen of IoT systems. Integration of various interconnected devices under the cloud is a complex phenomenon in and IoT framework that requires incessant data streams and signalling of the same on all the connected devices to ensure that no device is out of the cloud. But, in developing countries like India, where the Internet infrastructure is still not well advanced and the 24×7 power supply is limited to certain cities. Startups cannot invest a huge amount to overcome the power and internet problems. That’s why providing uninterrupted IoT services to clients is a big task for startup companies.
Security Threat Is A Survival Threat
Data sharing also plays a crucial role in an IoT setup because various interconnected devices on a cloud accumulate data in larger volumes. The protection and maintenance of on cloud data is a capital intensive process and startups have limited budgets. On the other hand, a myriad of integrated devices and automation make things rather easier for the hackers.
Security of businesses and individuals cannot be compromised and every startup understands it very clearly, but limited resources never allow them for timely upgradation of the system and security overhaul.
Alliances And Outsourcing Are Not Very Successful
Unlike other industries in manufacturing and service sectors where alliances and outsourcing strategies are considered very effective to maintain quality and save organisational resources, including the money. Outsourcing and collaboration alliances are very much difficult in the IoT, if not impossible.
The reasons are many, one of the obvious is a complex interface that involves seamless connectivity between millions of devices and machines. The second most important is high sensitivity; because each device contains some valuable data and the cumulative data of all devices automatically get absorbed by the cloud.
That means, if someone is capable of entering in the cloud, he/she can easily peep into other devices too. So, trusting the outside people/vendors whom you don’t know well is a big risk. That’s why most of the IoT startups avoid working with others, but due to financial constraints, it becomes an incumbent option for them.
As mentioned above, success is encircled by challenges and an entrepreneur is never afraid of the risks because these are the integrated parts of a business. One can make the scenario in one’s own favour, if proper attention is paid during the formation of a business model, making a SWOT analysis of organisation’s capabilities and developing feasible counter strategies to deal with a crisis. In addition, retaining the best talent and up-gradation of their skills through regular training programs is another key solution that IoT startups should adopt to ward off above-mentioned challenges.
IoT is the buzz word for businesses in the era of startup culture and enterprises with the right mix of planning and execution policies can leverage the IoT industry to infinite heights.
About The Author
[The author of this post is Vikram Kumar, CEO & founder, Letstrack]