Why DIY IoT is Problematic
Mon, April 19, 2021

Why DIY IoT is Problematic

DIY IoT initiatives are costly and time-consuming / Photo Credit: Andrey Suslov (via Shutterstock)


Industrial companies are reaping the benefits of IIoT, but others opt for DIY IoT initiatives, wrote Joe Biron of IoT news platform IoT for All. These initiatives are well-intentioned but they have long-term impacts on cost, time, and scaling. Three out of four DIY IoT initiatives fail, causing repercussions in the company. The roadblocks hindering the success of self-made IoT projects are the money, time, and people required to develop IoT internally and to scale the solution across the organization and value chain. 

In Biron’s perspective, DIY is a budget buster. Investors need to see their funds go into projects that result in “quick, short-term wins, measurable ROI, and scalable use cases that will sustain long-term growth and benefit the bottom line.” More often than not, self-made IoT initiatives transform into massive cost centers with no sign of rewards or benefits. DIY can also be costlier in terms of ownership. In fact, it can be almost four times greater in a factory setting as compared to implementing a third party IIoT system. Costs for sustaining the DIY platform can spiral as the operator will need to continuously invest in the IoT system’s security, scalability, resiliency, and development of new features. This can result in ballooning annual expenses and recurring negative annual outcomes. 

Therefore, an IIoT platform provider equipped with knowledge of agile software development processes is better to quickly release innovative applications than an industrial company. Of course, developing a DIY solution is a time-consuming process, which may lengthen for non-digitally native companies in creating the “great heavy-industrial machine” but not so much when it comes to software development and programming. Moreover, it takes about 2.5 years to develop an IIoT solution internally when operators add the time it takes to gather a team, develop the application, and move it into the production stage. However, working with a software provider that offers a leading IoT platform is said to take half that time to enhance proof of concepts into production.