Ask any basketball fan who the greatest "big man" of all time is and you may get a few different answers. Some may opt for the most athletic (like Wilt Chamberlin)....some will choose the great defenders (like Bill Russell)....some will go for the great scorers (like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and some will go for the player most likely to eat a 96oz steak at one of those steak restaurants (like Shaquille O'Neal). These players are all incredible athletes and deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
Few will mention players that didn't have a dominant part to their game but were instead just great all around players....like Tim Duncan. Even his nickname was boring..."the Big Fundamental". Duncan was just extremely good at everything, so perhaps we just didn't appreciate what he did....he was reliable and dependable with no frills.
So, what does this have to do with IoT?
A lot of people ask me what the killer application is in IoT, and I tell them that you already have most of the components.....it is connecting your remote devices to the systems that you may already have.
Say you have a remote machine(s) located all over a city, state or the country. Getting real-time information and returning it to your "back-end" system is an application that will change your company.....and not just some companies, but pretty much any company. And, you only need one remote asset to make this a useful application.
In most cases, a simple, reliable modem is the only missing part to this solution
Take a look at your remote device....it may have a port (serial, USB or Ethernet) port on it. If so, you likely don't need a fancy, expensive modem to bring your key data back....you just need a good, reliable one. Sure, there are situations where you need a higher-priced modem (like if you need special security items, extra ruggedness, connectivity for sensors or special ports connectivity), but for most applications, you don't......you just need the equivalent of a really long cable back to your server.
Once the data reaches your key server, the amount of work to get the solution going depends on what you have. Many applications are either able to accept this live data (as opposed to being manually entered) or need minor modifications to do so. In some cases, you may wish to have the data sent to a cloud-based application. Either way, a simple, reliable modem is really all most solutions need to get this all started.
The Bottom Line
I think many of us forget that it is often the "not sexy" things that work the best. Your business doesn't need glitz and glamour. It needs reliable and dependable solutions that you can rely on. There is a reason why the Spurs have been a model franchise for close to two decades. Sure, they had the luxury of having several future Hall-of-Famers (including one of the best coaches in sports history), but it all was built on the solid foundation that was Tim Duncan. All businesses who want to be great should remember that sometimes boring is great...