Anyone who’s ever been involved with a new system implementation knows that it’s easier said than done. The great statements made during the planning phase often fail to become reality, as the project becomes mired in complexity and unexpected obstacles. The same outcome could happen to many companies wishing to profit on the Internet of Things (IoT), particularly as it relates to energy management. Without a proven implementation methodology and a clear, cross-functional execution plan, the incredible potential of IoT to help decrease energy usage may never be fulfilled.
As we’ve discussed in prior posts, we think a close partnership between the IT department and energy/facilities managers is key to creating an energy IoT – or, as we call it, an Energy Network of Things. And as these two groups collaborate to digitally connect all of the organization’s energy assets, the platform they choose to achieve that goal will figure largely in the outcome.
Here are five characteristics we think are essential to capture the full benefits of energy IoT.
The simplicity of implementation. The advantages of any new technology are reduced if it takes hundreds of hours of complex custom programming to bring it online and keep it working. Not only does this delay the rollout of the new system; it consumes precious labor hours from the IT team that could be devoted to other projects. For those reasons, customers building an energy IoT infrastructure should look for a platform that is as close to “plug and play” as possible.
Compatibility of equipment. A turnkey “off-the-shelf platform” is ideal – IF it’s truly compatible with all of your equipment. Organizations should guarantee the platform they’re considering can connect, monitor, manage and control all of their existing energy assets, regardless of make, model or vintage. It shouldn’t matter if the equipment in question is a state-of-the-art smart lighting system or an industrial boiler from 1978.
Open, vendor-agnostic connectivity. Similar to compatibility with energy assets, an energy IoT platform also shouldn’t be restricted to communicating with certain brands of computer hardware and software. Customers can only obtain the full potential of IoT through a system that enables them to collect, share, and analyze data in concert with all existing equipment and applications.
Multi-site sharing. As we discussed in our last post, one of the key pain points most energy managers face is a lack of complete, consistent information about energy needs and usage from facilities throughout the organization. Thus, one of the most significant advantages of an energy IoT platform – and a must-have capability – is the power to aggregate and share energy information across many locations, whether it’s three buildings spread throughout the city or 500 sites around the world.
Robust security built in. Cyber security is top of mind in every industry today, and the concerns increase as organizations pursue digital transformation. Leading energy IoT platforms recognize that taking sensitive information online involves risk, and thus they counteract that threat proactively with the tightest possible security protocols to prevent cyber-attacks. The best platforms have built-in cybersecurity control to neutralize invasion attempts and protect sensitive data.
Written by Eric Reichel
Originally posted on bluepillar.com