Ignite AIoT Framework

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Purpose and business outcomesAIoT execution and deliverySmart, connected products and solutionsRoles and responsibilitiesThe Why, How, What and Who of Ignite AIoT

The Ignite AIoT Framework provides good practices for successfully building smart, connected products (or solutions), utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Inspired by the work of Simon Sinek [1] as well as the St. Gallen IoT Lab [2], Ignite AIoT looks at the why, how, what and who of your AIoT initiative, as outlined in the following.

The Ignite AIoT framework is provided as a wiki with a highly visual navigation structure. Most diagrams allow you to click on areas of interest to get a more detailed description. Click on the WHY/HOW/WHAT/WHO boxes in the diagram above to try it out. The about section provides more details on the framework itself.

Why: Purpose and business outcomes

While AI and IoT are exciting technical enablers, anybody embarking on the AIoT journey should always start by looking at the "why": What is the purpose? And what are the expected business outcomes?

From a strategic (and emotional) point of view, the purpose of the AIoT initiative should be clearly articulated: What is the belief? The mission? Why is this really done?

For the business sponsors, the expected business outcomes must be clearly defined as well. As will be discussed in the "what" section, most AIoT initiatives are either focusing on products or solutions. Depending on the nature of your initiative, the KPIs will differ. For AIoT-enabled products, they tend to focus more on the customer acceptance and revenue side, while for AIoT-enabled solutions they tend to focus more on efficiency and optimization.

Why: Product vs Solution

More details on the "Why" of an AIoT initiative can be found here.

What: Smart, connected products and solutions

The "What" of an AIoT inititive can usually be described as a smart, connected product or solution (this is an important differentiation, which is discussed here).

The smartness of an AIoT product/solution is usually either related to an individual physical asset ("asset intelligence"), or to a group/fleet of assets ("swarm intelligence"). Technically, asset intelligence is enabled via edge computing, while swarm intelligence is enabled via cloud computing. Asset intelligence is applying AI-algorithms to data which is locally captured and processes (via sensors), while swarm intelligence is applying AI-algorithms to data which is captured from multiple assets via IoT-technologies in the cloud.

From a "What" point-of-view, it is important to clearly identify what kind of features AI and IoT are actually enabling - and whether they are actually really required (click here for a more detailed discussion).

What: Smart, connected products / solutions

How: AIoT execution and delivery

From a business point of view, the "how" must address the value proposition and key differentiators - aspects which should actually be clarified before the "what" is addressed.

Ignite AIoT is describing a detailed framework for execution and delivery of AIoT-enabled products and solutions, which not only includes the business perspective, but also the hard- and software perspective, as well as the perspective of the physical asset and how it is manufactured. Applying this method usually only makes sense if the answer to the "what" question is AIoT. This is why in this section the "how" comes after the "what". However, Ignite also assumes an agile and explorative approach as far as possible (subject to limitations imposed by the safety- and planning-centric hardware and asset-related processes), which is why there will usually be no waterfall-like sequence in the processing of the why/how/what-questions.

Ignite AIoT Execution and Delivery is extending existing good practices from the IT/software world, adding specifics of AIoT-enabled product/solution development. Execution and Delivery includes business model, product/solution architecture, DevOps & infrastructure, trust & security, reliability & resilience, and verification & validation. In addition, the product/solution organization is addressed, as well as technology & resource acquisition, and service operations.

AIoT Execution and Delivery

Who: Roles and responsibilities

The "Who" perspective must address the roles and responsibilities required for successfully delivering your AIoT initiative. These will partially be different for product- vs. solution-centric initiatives, as we will discuss later.

As indicated by the diagram below, Ignite AIoT is primarily addressing product/solution managers, project/program managers, development/engineering managers, product/solution architects, security/safety managers, and procurement managers.

Who: Roles and Reponsibilities

About the Ignite AIoT Framework

The Ignite AIoT Framework provides good practices for AIoT product and project managers, helping to improve quality and customer centricity, reduce risks and costs, and shorten time-to-market.

Ignite AIoT Framework: About

The Ignite AIoT Framework is a continuation of the original Ignite IoT framework, based on the Enterprise IoT book (Slama, Puhlmann, Morrish, Bhatnagar; O`Reilly 2015). Ignite AIoT is also building on additional research in the area of best practices for smart, connected products.

Enterprise IoT

The framework is managed by the AIoT User Group, which has driven the evolution of Ignite from a generic IoT framework towards an integrated AI and IoT framework. The group is focusing on experience sharing and best practices for AIoT, including Ignite Talks, AIoT Case Studies, AIoT Boot Camps and development of the Ignite AIoT framework.

AIoT User GroupAIoT User Group

Please contact the AIoT User Group via this form if you want to get involved!

References

  1. Start with why: how great leaders inspire everyone to take action, Simon Sinek, 2010
  2. The Business Model Navigator: 55 Models That Will Revolutionise Your Business, Oliver Gassmann, Karolin Frankenberger, Michaela Csik, 2014