Critical Components of a B2B IoT Solution

IoT connections literally span the globe, and IoT devices are integrated into nearly every facet of modern life. Drill down into what makes B2B IoT tick, and how to kick yours into gear.
February 14, 2024

5

min read

Critical Components of a B2B IoT Solution

There are officially more connected devices than humans on earth. A lot more, in fact. The global population is estimated at 8 billion and counting, while Frost & Sullivan places the number of connected devices at nearly 42 billion – some five times greater. Other researchers place the number of connected devices slightly lower, the fact remains: humans are outnumbered.

This should come as no surprise, given the diverse applications of IoT across homes, offices, factories, farms, vehicles, and even space. IoT connections literally span the globe, and IoT devices are integrated into nearly every facet of modern life. In this post, we’ll drill down into what makes B2B IoT tick, and how to kick yours into gear.

Top Three Reasons OEMs Turn to IoT

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are embracing IoT because of the transformative impact it has on their business operations. By integrating IoT into their products, OEMs can dramatically enhance product functionality. Ultimately, the shift toward B2B IoT allows OEMs to stay competitive in technology-centric markets, meeting customer demands for smart and connected products, and:

Monitoring devices from anywhere – With IoT, OEMs gain anytime anywhere device data to ensure devices are operating as they should.

Managing and troubleshooting when issues arise – OEMs leverage IoT connectivity to be more proactive about device maintenance and resolve issues quickly with cloud-based troubleshooting tools.

Improving device lifecycle management – IoT enables OEMS to easily deploy firmware updates that keep devices running smoothly, while gaining analytic insights about potential device degradations.

Top Five IoT Use Cases

By way of example of the transformative power of IoT, here are five of the most impactful applications of smart, connected devices across industries and everyday life:

Connected and self-driving vehicles - Self-driving cars are one of the most notable examples of IoT in action. Major automakers like BMW, Ford, and GM are all developing self-driving vehicles, as are newer companies like Tesla. These cars use a variety of connected devices, including AI-enabled cameras, motion sensors, and onboard computers to safely navigate roadways in all kinds of traffic and weather conditions.

Connected agriculture - IoT is transforming agriculture with connected devices like soil sensors, irrigation systems, plant leaf monitors and more that gather real-time data on soil conditions, crop health, and weather patterns. A data-driven approach to agriculture enables more sustainable farming, precision irrigation, fertilization, and more effective pest control. Automated systems, guided by IoT insights, enable timely interventions, reducing resource wastage and environmental impact.

Healthcare and consumer health and wellness -  Medical institutions and caregivers use IoT devices to monitor vital signs and health conditions throughout the care delivery lifecycle. Devices like connected monitors can track and transmit patient data such as heart rate, glucose levels, and blood pressure. Some can even alert patients or healthcare providers if readings deviate from predetermined ranges. Consumers benefit from IoT through smartwatches and wearables that track and analyze wellness markers like daily steps and quality of sleep.

Supply chain management – In the supply chain, IoT sensors and GPS trackers enable OEMs to locate assets more precisely in transit. This data enhances planning and raises stakeholder confidence in shipping. However, the value of IoT in supply chain management extends beyond visibility. IoT technologies also monitor delivery conditions, ensuring – for example – that specified temperatures are maintained for quality and safety. Back-end analytics leverage IoT data to identify improvements like efficient routes and shipping times.

Smart cities - Instead of relying on piecemeal data, smart cities are using IoT deployments across different areas like traffic, buildings (both public and private), and environmental monitoring. This creates a unified view of the city and enables real-time analysis and data-driven decisions. One way IoT empowers smart cities is to optimize efficiency, effectiveness, resilience, and safety. By way of example, Copenhagen is leveraging IoT to become carbon-neutral by 2025!

Deep Dive: IoT Layers

IoT architecture is a complex ecosystem comprising multiple interconnected layers that work together to manage data flow and analysis.

The foundation lies in the device layer, where physical devices like sensors, actuators, and smart devices act as data collectors and manipulators. Data collected across these devices seamlessly travels through the network layer, which ensures smooth communication and transmission, then enters the database layer, where it undergoes local processing, storage, and initial analysis. Extracting meaningful insights from this data becomes the responsibility of the analytics/visualization layer, which translates raw data into user-friendly visual representations.

Building a Robust IoT Strategy for B2B

At the heart of any IoT system lies the application layer. Here, data is analyzed to solve specific business problems and deliver tangible value to users. For B2B applications, a powerful application layer is critical. This layer needs to offer features like managing asset licenses, accessing support and ticketing systems, seamlessly integrating with existing business software like CRM and ERP, utilizing commercialization tools for subscriptions management, visualizing data through dashboards, managing access control and user roles, configuring both local and cloud setups, and providing a dedicated customer portal. To optimize user experience, a robust application layer also needs an intuitive GUI and customizable branding. Enterprise B2B IoT systems will also require out-of-the-box multi-tenancy, so that each customer can deploy, manage and monitor their IoT devices in an isolated tenant.

Download your own copy of Building a Robust IoT Strategy

The Eternal Question: Build vs Buy

For a B2B IoT deployment, deciding between building your own IoT application layer or partnering with a provider generally hinges on two key factors: cost and speed. And the fact is that building your own system can cost between $2 million and $10 million and take 4-20 times longer to deploy than using a pre-built solution.

Even if you're already using services like AWS or Azure IoT, you still need significant engineering resources to build a custom application layer. Partnering with advanced servitization platforms provider like Xyte eliminates this, providing a faster and more cost-effective path to cloud connectivity.

Instead of starting from scratch, Xyte helps manufacturers connect existing devices, saving them valuable time and resources. Xyte enables manufacturers and OEMs to focus on making amazing devices, while Xyte handles connectivity, infrastructure, multi-tenancy, APIs, reporting, and more.

Xyte invites you to let us do the heavy lifting. Xyte Device Cloud is the fastest and most-cost effective path to connect your equipment and IoT devices to the cloud, including a fully-branded cloud solution for your customers, without writing a single line of code. No matter if you’re just starting to think about connecting your devices or already on the way to full digital transformation – Xyte offers you the IoT tools you need to successfully navigate the future.

Learn more about Building a Robust IoT Strategy in our latest infographic.

Tags

iot
connected devices
Subscribe to our blog
Insightful articles delivered straight to your inbox.
Insightful articles delivered straight to your inbox.