Is the Smart, Connected Product Trend Driving Modular Design?

So, let’s talk about the smart connected products trend and how IoT connectivity actually might force a lot of companies towards modularity and platform design. If a company is developing multiple products that are smart and connected, you have to think, “Well, what’s the common platform they’re all connecting to?” The answer is they’re connecting to the same IoT platform. You might wonder, “Well, what’s the big deal about that?” When you think about it from a bill of material perspective and, frankly, integration and compatibility, you’re now forming a system that isn’t contained within the product. Your system is now extending off of the product through the internet to your IoT platform. When you send data, it needs to be compatible back and forth. When you send commands from the IoT platform to the product, there needs to be integration and compatibility.

When there’s a common component, the IoT platform with all of these products, you’re starting to move towards modularity and platform design. And, you need to think about compatibility as you change your configuration of your IoT platform. You might add additional modules, for analytics, machine learning, AI, or connectivity to other enterprise systems so you can pull in data and make more informed decisions. All of that configuration somehow does need to work with your product.
You need to be able to manage the configuration that’s now extended off the product into the internet of things. So, a lot of companies are starting to look at platform design and think about which options do they want on the smart connected product and which options do they want in the IOT platform to enable those things?” I think the more companies move towards and get in line with the smart connected products trend, the more they are going to be pushed towards the platform side.

I’m interested to understand what you think. Once you leave comments down below, let me know what your experiences are and where you think we’re going with this.

That’s it. Take care and talk soon.

Chad Jackson

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