The Internet of Things (IoT) promises a future where everything is online. But today, a lack of standards makes it difficult to connect. To learn how developers can solve this problem, I spoke with Jens Wiegand, CTO of Kontron, a Premier member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance (Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance).


Below are key excerpts from my interview. For more on this topic, see my interviews with Wind River and McAfee.


What are the biggest challenges to deploying IoT solutions?


Jens Wiegand, Kontron: Currently the market is fragmented and characterized by incompatible systems and stovepiped solutions. IoT concepts like predictive maintenance, big data, and analytics require a holistic approach, but there is a lack of cooperation between hardware and software suppliers, service providers, and communication infrastructure vendors.


How can developers address these issues? In particular, how do standards and multi-vendor solutions help?


Developers should strive to build on solutions that adhere to industry standards on all levels, from communications protocols to cloud connectors. In particular, they should seek standards that are supported by multiple industry leaders in form of application-ready concepts. Such standards can reduce complexity and risk, and provide a time to market advantage.


What role do you see for standards bodies like the new Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)?


The IIC as well as Industry 4.0 are good examples where a consortium of industry leaders drives towards a common goal: enabling business value for end customers by implementing standards and by developing the ecosystem to enable solutions.


What role do you see for ecosystems like the Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance?


The Alliance is a great example of a large scale ecosystem that enables rapid deployment with IoT solutions that are pre-integrated, verified, and validated by system integrators and solution providers like Kontron. The benefits for our customers are flexibility, choice, velocity, and the ability to focus on the development of innovative applications with less risk and pain.


How you are using standards and ecosystem collaboration to create IoT solutions?


The Intel® Gateway Solutions for the Internet of Things (Intel® Gateway Solutions for the IoT) is a good example of how Kontron builds on industry standards and capitalizes on the work of the Alliance by leveraging platform concepts to create IoT-enabled hardware and software stacks.  [Editor’s note: Kontron recently announced the Intel® Gateway Solutions for the IoT-based KBox A-201 mini.] But even more, we strive to develop standards further, grow the ecosystem, and offer more value to our customers with IoT solutions that enhance the reach of our application-ready platforms. We see solution- and application-readiness as well as software expertise as key differentiators and innovation enablers.


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Kontron is a Premier member of the Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance


Kenton Williston

Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance

Editor-In-Chief, Embedded Innovator magazine

Follow me on Twitter: @kentonwilliston