All of us at ZEDEDA were excited to learn that ZEDEDA has been selected as the 2022 IoT Breakthrough Awards IoT Partner Ecosystem of the Year! We’re honored to be among so many other exceptional companies.
This award is important to us because at ZEDEDA we believe ecosystems are critical for digital transformation and by extension, competitive advantage. Edge and IoT solutions inherently require a diverse collection of capabilities and expertise to deploy, and over the past few years the emerging market has attended to address this fragmentation with a dizzying array of proprietary platforms, each with widely different methods for data collection, security and management.
But ultimately, having multitudes of closed, siloed platforms and related ecosystems is not scalable. It’s important to start with an open, consistent infrastructure foundation, and from there determine the right type of ecosystem to have on top of it. And while there are different approaches to ecosystems, such as whether you architect it into your product or simply partner to sell it, there are a number of key considerations that need to be considered in order to not only solve today’s problem but also have the building blocks in place to solve those of tomorrow.
Open vs. Closed Philosophies and Balancing Risk vs. Reward
There’s a spectrum of ecosystem development, ranging from closed to open. Closed ecosystems, often called “walled gardens”, are based on closely-governed relationships, proprietary designs, and sometimes, proprietary APIs. While often providing great customer experience, these usually come at a higher cost and with less choice.
On the other end of the spectrum, open ecosystems provide a flexible foundation that encourages both competition and cooperation. Less curation is compensated for by volume, helps developers to reduce “undifferentiated heavy lifting,” and creates an excellent base to create a network effect that multiplies value creation. To learn more about the different types of ecosystems and how to navigate them, check out part one of our blog on building ecosystems.
Start with an Open, Trusted Edge
We’ve talked before about the unique challenges that must be addressed when it comes to application deployment in the physical world. Edge and IoT solutions require a number of diverse capabilities and expertise to deploy and the emerging market that’s attempted to address this fragmentation has resulted in a confusing landscape of proprietary platforms, each with different approaches to security, management, and data collection.
But ultimately, dealing with hundreds of closed platforms and their associated ecosystems is not a path to scale in the real world. This is where an open infrastructure foundation becomes critical. And with the diversity of the distributed edge making it impractical to have a one-size-fits-all standard to bind everything together, open source frameworks are an excellent way to bring together various components, unifying them versus trying to create new standards, accommodating existing legacy install bases, and enabling developers to focus on value creation. Efforts like LF Edge demonstrate how collaborative efforts to build an open foundation in partnership with other open source and standards-focused initiatives can lay this groundwork. Learn more about the requirements for an open and trusted edge, and how they impact ecosystems, in part two of our blog on building ecosystems.
Domain Knowledge and the Criticality of Compounding Value
When it comes to digital transformation and ecosystem development, it’s often best to start small but it’s equally important to think holistically for the long term. Instead of thinking about the remote monitoring of a single machine, consider instead the potential of an entire network of interconnected machines. Imagine a world where you can send a tech out with work instructions to preventatively repair a fleet of machines in order to get the most value out of a truck roll to a given location.
Many IoT platforms claim to do predictive maintenance, but few actually have the domain knowledge required. This requires more than just analytics tools – it may require bringing together a line operator who has expertise with machines on the factory floor with a data scientist to program those algorithms accurately. By building an ecosystem of technology and service providers that create unique value-add on top of a consistent infrastructure, you’re positioned to take advantage of the network effect across different markets, all multiplying their value through their own various connected ecosystems. To learn more about how this holistic approach ties together, take a look at part three of our blog on building ecosystems.
The Rug that Ties the Room Together
ZEDEDA provides a consistent edge hardware and application orchestration foundation for our growing ecosystem of technology and service partners. Our SaaS-based orchestration solution is optimized for distributed edge compute hardware and workloads that leverage technologies such as IoT, AI and 5G. Our solution is based on the open source EVE-OS hosted within LF Edge which provides developers with maximum flexibility for building their ecosystem strategy with their choice of technologies and partners. EVE-OS aims to do for the edge what Android did for mobile by simplifying the orchestration of edge computing at scale, regardless of applications, hardware or cloud used.
Ready to learn more? Check out this report from IDC on how open source software and open ecosystems provide the flexibility and security necessary to increase the pace of business transformation and to create new business opportunities.