Define your Network Architecture (Data & Roles)

Posted by smart motors on Jul 23, 2019 8:35:00 AM

3/3 - This article is the last of the series of articles created after the event The Rise of IoT & Big Data in Rail 

In the followig post we continue talking about digital transformation strategies. When an operator accepts Digitalization as a new technology, there are many unknowns for the business units that will manage it.

  • Where do we store the data, cloud server or internal server? What type of network architecture should we put in place?
  • What departments are involved? Which department will be the lead? What roles are to be defined? What are their responsibilities?

These are hard questions to answer and it should be the operator who limits the options in line with their needs. Even though there are a lot of complex questions, with the right support, they can be solved and the project can move forward.

Regarding Network Architecture type, we have different aspects that will be affecting our election. The amount of monitored assets, the technology that has been used before and its prespective into the future for Digitalization. Additionally to the above aspects, the integration of systems with other existing computer management systems.

For example, SNCB shared during the "The Rise of IoT & Big Data in Rail" event that took place in May 2019  has already adopted technological change and, to summarise, they explained during the conference that they have chosen the following conditions:

  • A Vendor Management Strategy
  • A Cloud Strategy
  • A Digital Transformation Strategy
  • A definition of the technological direction for the next 5 years.
  • A solid Data & Information Architecture that helps in defining the way forward with IoT, AI, Big Data, BI,…

In relation to which departments must be present in a Digitization project, the smart motors® recommendation is to be extended to different areas of the organization, owing to the train that acts as a sensorization platform capable of providing key information to different departments (operation, maintenance, planning, energy, infrastructure, signaling...) Therefore future users should be able to intervene in its design and be comfortable with its use. With that in mind, the operator must design a management group that leads the "put into action" and new demands of the tool. This leading department is the one needed of the greatest motivations to make the project more impressive, rapid, agile and smart . The election comes from the fact that each operator is unique so the strategy to be put in place must be unique too.

We agree with Mattjis Suurland, Product Owner RTM Analytics at Nederlandse Spoorwegen, that at the event questioned the advantages and obstacles in standardising and homogenising and repeated the message: ‘don’t overcomplicate’.  At smart motors® we think that standardisation does not resolve clients’ specific problems and that’s why we encourage customized projects. To this reason, the Agile methodology fits in order to deal with this type of projects where definition and achievement of objectives is dynamic and allows us to integrate new projects or non-detected problems at initial phase, helping us to find out the solution and integrate them in a natural way to our activity.

At smart motors® we can offer you numerous client stories. If you would like more information on them, please contact us. You can also ask our current clients to give you an account of their experience.

If you find this post interesting, make sure you read the next post about outsourcing strategies on Digitalization. We will discover an answer to worrying questions as:

  • which part of a project should be outsourced?
  • how to choose an outsourcing partner?
  • how to have a proper communication?
  • how will the reorganization of the process look like?
  • what are the benefits of outsourcing?

If you would like more information on the work we do at smart motors® and how we can help your company in the digital transformation, please visit our website here or contact us at



Topics: Blog