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Challenges of Integrating Legacy Systems with IoT Solutions

Challenges of Integrating Legacy Systems with IoT solutions. Business Challenges with Legacy-IoT integration. Technology Challenges with legacy IoT integration.

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Business Challenges with Legacy-IoT integration

We are rapidly moving from a disconnected world to a hyperconnected one. From smart homes to smart cars, everything reflects how much effort is being put behind crafting products and services that bring hyper-connectivity to us.

With new products and new services, it is much easier to deliver connectivity. But, what about existing devices and services that require connectivity?

Given that more than 85% of all devices are legacy, it brings a huge challenge to the growth and adoption of IoT solutions. Also, note that most of the legacy systems in industrial usage come with a lifespan of 10 years or more.

Challenges of Integrating Legacy Systems with IoT solutions

And it isn’t easy to replace those devices. Replacing them comes with a high cost, which is neither feasible for consumer IoT nor industrial IoT scenarios.

With this blog post, we are going to show some of the most common challenges of integrating IoT solutions with legacy systems.

A. Business Challenges with Legacy-IoT integration

If you are planning to get started with a legacy-IoT integration project, here are the top five challenges enterprises usually face:

  • Complex business analysis with a lack of subject matter experts
  • First mover’s disadvantage – a common threat to legacy IoT integration projects
  • Lack of tech talent to carry out complex integration
  • Keeping cost controls in check
  • Constant flux, rapidly evolving technology landscape

Let us walk you through those five business challenges in some more detail.

1. Complex Business Analysis

From user research to project scoping, business analysis is a big challenge to your legacy integration project. It requires you and your team to carefully put together and analyze challenges, opportunities, and potential innovations.

Apart from business analysis being too hard for such initiatives, if you fail during this first crucial step – the entire project is exposed to the risk of failure.

2. First Mover’s Disadvantage

Unlike most software engineering projects, IoT is a space where being the first mover is often a disadvantage. Imagine being the first mover where not only hardware, cloud, front-end, and APIs are a challenge – but also the risk of working on integrating a legacy Visual Basic based system is at a whole new level.

3. Lack of Tech Talent

Think about it, how many professionals around you can port legacy hardware architectures to an evergreen one? Or, how many professionals have the skills to drive development and integration of a modular gateway predictably?

The answer is a handful. That’s what makes it so challenging to assemble the right team that can drive the project to success.

4. Controlling costs and managing the ever-evolving landscape of IoT

Given the first three obstructions, it is rather easy for you to see why controlling costs can be a big challenge. And the fact that IoT keeps evolving makes it much harder. Let us illustrate that to you with the case of Lora.

For example, it was only 5-6 years ago when LoRa didn’t seem like a protocol that would receive such wide adoption. Businesses at that time were forced to adopt SDR. Implementing SDRs bring 100x more cost to an enterprise than what LoRa does. Those that invested in LoRa as opposed to SDRs now reap the benefits of having a competitive edge.

Now that you know what obstacles you’ll have to deal with while integrating legacy systems with IoT solutions let’s get into technical challenges.

Technology Challenges with legacy IoT integration

B. Technology Challenges with legacy IoT integration

Data and Infrastructure Challenges

There are three main challenges in heritage IoT integration when it comes to data:

  • Implementing data security – Identity management and secure authentication
  • Data architecture to ensure data integrity across hardware, middleware and cloud
  • Local networks to support data transport

Most legacy devices weren’t initially built with security in mind. And, they commonly push raw data through legacy connectors like RS232. A lot of legacy medical equipment comes with ports like RS232, and the data lacks any form of encryption.

Most of these devices (e.g., an EEG machine) were designed to push information to a monitor. When you match baud rates and pull serial data from those legacy devices, it is up to your IoT devices/network to encrypt this data and push EEG information forward. This puts a lot of weight on your IoT devices, which often don’t even have a microprocessor.

The next challenge is in setting up the right data infrastructure.

Legacy equipment pushes a lot of data, and everything right from your data architecture, APIs to your network reliability should match to deliver to these expectations. This means that your entire data architecture should be built to serve data transport requirements that support security, integrity, scale, and high velocity.

1. Legacy IoT Deployment and Management

A successful IoT legacy integration project requires a vision that not only crafts a technically perfect product but also thinks about how you will manage and support it throughout its lifetime.

Deployment and management are those spaces that you have to put together, analyze rigorously, and innovate upon. While manual inspection and upkeep are always an option, automated deployments are the key to highly maintainable and scalable IoT legacy integrations.

2. Communication standards in legacy systems

When you think about communication standards in legacy systems, there’s a lot to think about. Legacy systems evolved with communication standards that initially weren’t designed to support connectivity and innovation.

Given that most of these standards were proprietary innovating on top of these protocols is not an easy task.

That’s precisely where the choices to set up system architecture, and select technology stack are most important. For example, if you are planning to integrate an IoT solution with a manufacturing system, selecting a language or framework that supports an OPC based communication system makes all the difference.

.NET, for example, not only makes it easy to integrate IoT solutions with OPC systems, but the evolved version .NET core also takes it a step further. While making it incredibly intuitive for system integrators to work with OPC based legacy systems, it also brings along powerful data processing and AI capabilities

3. Quality Control over legacy IoT integration projects

From integrating legacy to building/integrating IoT networks – quality control determines how far your plan will go. Apart from the usual hardware and software quality control challenges, legacy IoT exposes your projects to the risks of facing edge cases that are very difficult to explore during the early test stages.

Having the right experience and the right set of talent is the key to effectively exercising quality control over your projects.

And that’s it!

Tackle those challenges right from the start, and you always reach SLAs and expectations that you set with legacy IoT Integration projects.

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Automotive

7 Safety Tips for Ride-Hailing Users

The following tips are essential for safety when using a ride-hailing service: Check on the reviews and ratings of the ride-hailing company.

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7 Safety Tips for Ride-Hailing Users

Most people opt to ride-hail in the current generation because the service has proven efficient and effective in transporting people from one place to another. However, ride-hailing could incur some unwanted incidences as far as security is concerned. There have been reported abduction, rape cases, robbery, and death of ride-hailers, amongst others.

These cases are prone to occur if the ride-hailers are reluctant to verify their drivers’ identities. The latter makes it easy for the drivers to commit crimes without suspicion. Therefore, ride-hailers must be careful before boarding their rides by verifying that the ride drivers are who they expect them to be.

The following tips are essential for safety when using a ride-hailing service:

1. Check On The Reviews And Ratings Of The Ride-Hailing Company

There is usually a comment section for the users to leave behind their ride experience and ratings after every ride for most ride-hailing apps. The most reviewed and best-rated companies are sure enough to offer quality services. Over the years, there have been many companies you can choose from. Firms such as mobility SaaS Spare Labs and similar ones have made it easier for investors to develop and launch ride-hailing services.

Due to the many options available, going through the reviews provided ensures you’re requesting a reputable ride service. If the driver has many negative reviews, it’d be best to avoid that ride because you’ll most likely have the same experience.

2. Request Your Ride In A Safe Place (Preferably In Public)

In most ride-hailing apps, one can quickly identify the location of various ride drivers based on the proximity they are from your site. You can choose the driver to pick you up at your preferred location with that information. It is advisable to place a pick-up location in an open place to ensure your safety.

3. Verify With Your Rider

Asking your rider to identify you is an essential safety tip as this will help assure you if the rider is the one you were expecting. If the rider can identify you by your name, you can be confident that you are safe onboarding the ride. If the rider cannot identify you by your name, you should avoid boarding that car and communicate with the ride service provider for any suspicious acts.

Check On The Reviews And Ratings Of The Ride-Hailing Company

In most ride-hailing apps, the rides are usually identified by details such as the make of the car, the color, license plate, name, and photo of the driver. You should confirm that the information on the app matches that of the ride when it arrives.

4. Avoid Disclosing Personal Information

Avoid sharing your details with the driver at all costs. If there is a need to communicate, you should do so through the app. Desist from sharing information such as your other names, social media accounts, or physical address. It is wise to consider being dropped at a safe distance from your destination.

Thanks to technological advancements, you can make online payments. Thus, you’ll avoid disclosing personal information such as your phone number.

5. Make A Point To Inform Your Closest Associate Of Your Location

This tip will help to track your location and monitor your movement. It is a safety measure to account for your whereabouts. You can send the driver’s details to a close friend or family member to make it easy to track your ride.

It is terrible news for anyone with ill intentions to be under close watch. This is because they know that they would easily be caught if they committed a crime. If they are culprits, they will be hostile or rebel if you inform them that it is tracked. Therefore, it is wise to tell the driver that the ride is followed and observe their reactions. You can also make a call and inform your closest associate that you are now boarding the ride and you’ll be on your way.

6. Make A Wise Choice On Where To Sit

Most ride-hailing services say that sitting at the back seat enhances your safety than sitting at the co-driver seat. That is because there is a great distance between the ride-driver and the passenger. However, sitting at the co-driver seat comes in handy as it enhances a clear view of the driver and that of the path you’ll be riding on.

However, situations and vehicles may vary. It is advisable to take a seat that has a vast distance between you and the driver. Also, be cautious and consider it a warning if the driver demands that you take a specific seat.

7. Check To See That The Child Locks Are Not Engaged

When you enter the ride, please make a point of opening the door immediately after closing it. If the door does not open, make a fuss about dropping something you need to pick. Once out of the car, run to safety and request another ride.

Conclusion

There is a famous phrase that states, ‘safety first.’ Most people overlook these essential tips in guaranteeing your safety while ride-hailing. Be on the lookout for such tips next time you are ride-hailing.

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