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As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to gain momentum across every industry, there is much excitement about the tremendous opportunity ahead. Yet, there is also a lot of uncertainty about how to best integrate supporting technology into existing IT architectures and operating models. While many executives are still trying to determine how to accurately assess IoT opportunities, the most important question is how to ensure the current IT infrastructure can support such a venture.

According to McKinsey & Company, almost 40% of the IoT’s economic impact requires interoperable systems – opening the door for investments in hardware, software, and service providers. Elements of the current technology stack may need to be redesigned to securely collect, process, analyze, and store massive volumes of data generated from countless sensors, mobile apps, devices, applications, and products. Seamless connectivity and collaboration are essential to handle customer and system requests around the clock and in real time.

Unfortunately, many businesses are facing limited capabilities in implementing IoT solutions in their already-complex architectures. And there’s a good reason: IoT technology is not a simple plug-and-play solution. Just as every industry and enterprise is unique, so is every company’s IT architecture. What’s needed is agile custom development and delivery.

Custom development: A path to realizing the full potential of the IoT

Chances are you have a business process that is similar to others in your industry – such as standard best practices for production operations or regulatory compliance. But, I also bet that you have an exclusive twist on that process to gain a competitive edge. In this case, you cannot tap your IoT potential by just accessing standard industry solutions. You need something that fits your business needs and specialty.

Through custom development, you can use these standard industry solutions as a starting point and then extend and customize them for quick, cost-effective innovation that addresses your specific business requirements.  This approach reduces development effort, minimizes costs, and delivers rapid time to value. And as the business evolves and expands, customized applications can be upgraded to mitigate risk and protect your software investment over time.


Take Trenitalia, for example. Two million passengers and thousands of businesses rely on Italy’s primary train operator every day. Operating one of the fastest trains in the world is quite a challenge when you consider that everything must run quickly, especially the ability of Trenitalia’s maintenance facilities to react rapidly to operational stresses. Through co-innovation with SAP Custom Development, Trenitalia was able to deeply transform their end-to-end maintenance operations from the core and throughout the system – extracting and transmitting endless data daily through onboard concentrators over the ground network and analyzing it all in real time. By raising its technology standards, the company is improving its quality of service, increasing ridership and corporate contracts.

Whether you business is in the middle of its own digital journey or about to start, waiting for the “perfect” solution to arrive will not give you a competitive advantage. Through co-innovation, you can develop the one-of-a-kind solution that differentiates your business from the competition through digital transformation.

What are you waiting for?

Find out how SAP Custom Development services can help by attending the interactive session “Raise Quality and Cut Warranty Costs with IoT-Based Predictive Maintenance.”

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