Enterprise Architecture for the Internet of Things
Enterprise Architecture in IoT
Enterprise architecture can help businesses get more out of IoT. Although the IoT refers to connected devices, in practice, the information from the devices in question is actually siloed. Although still of use to business, this siloed and fragmented information doesn’t provide the level of insight needed to justify heavy resource investment in an IoT strategy.
To really make the most out of IoT, the connections between the devices must be uncovered, and the walls separating them brought down.
This is where Enterprise Architecture comes into play. EA can leverage the interconnectivity of smart devices, grouping them together to measure certain data, or to form new business models and uses. Mike Walker labeled this the shift from thinking of IoT, ‘things’ to ‘compositions’.
Enterprise Architecture can also help identify which parts of the data are most relevant, in order for an organization to make better informed opinions.
On this, Mike Walker said: “In establishing a business competency centre, enterprise architects need to determine the potential impact, both positive and negative, of IoT technologies and then create actionable deliverables that can define which business opportunities should be pursued as result.”
Without proper structure, the sheer quantity of data that IoT can produce can be overwhelming, and the most useful information can be lost in the cluster.
All this considered, as the number of connected devices climbs, Enterprise Architecture and architect’s will find new life breathed into the discipline, as businesses look to leverage the services to guide their IoT strategies.
“Enterprise architects have a great opportunity to position themselves at the heart of digital businesses,” said, Mike Walker. “This could take the form of establishing a business competency centre that explores how the IoT can create innovative breakthroughs for the organization’s business models, products and services through rapid experimentation.”
He went on to say, “Enterprise architects are best positioned to discuss and enable the most lucrative opportunities in partnership with business unit and IT leaders. At the same time, they must work with chief data officers and security officers to structure this data in a way that mitigates the worst risks of pursuing these opportunities.”