The ultimate goal of an IoT implementation is to make connected things simple and secure so that it generates real-time data that can be analyzed and used to create desired business outcomes.
In this age of digital transformation, companies are seeking ways to stay relevant and tap into new markets. With 86% of enterprises poised to invest more money in IoT this year, it’s a great time to be part of the IoT supply chain.
If your business is IoT-focused – or extends the offering to include IoT products – either way, here are a few best practices to keep your vision reined in and ready to drive ROI.
See also: Manufacturing Leads the IoT Pack
Give one senior leader ownership of everything IoT: Put all IoT projects under the leadership of a single Chief Digital Officer or CIO. That way, they can unify the silos within a company engaging in IoT projects, foster coordination and collaboration, and ensure that great IoT projects propel out of the proof-of-concept stage.
Tie all projects to a single vision: Tying IT to core values will advance business objectives. Avoid treating IoT projects like science experiments. Clarify which IoT projects will enable digital transformation and drive the business forward by solving problems.
Start small, fail early, then evolve and succeed: IoT projects can have many moving parts. Projects involve technical coordination and transformation in the organizational mindset and culture. Start with a manageable project, celebrate incremental milestones, and use the wisdom gained to tackle more complex projects.
Get security right, even in the proof-of-concept stage: Most IoT breaches are the result of poor planning. Implement the right security tools, with proven results, to address the security needs of your IoT products. Smart companies deploy security even in the proof-of-concept or pilot stage.
Measure, measure, measure: Create a metrics-driven approach to track and improve your goals.
Demonstrate ROI: Focus on real use cases, and ROI helps in planning and developing successful strategies. IMS Evolve worked with a major grocery chain to deploy refrigeration monitoring across 3,000 stores. By eliminating costly food spoilage, reducing energy usage, and optimizing refrigeration temperatures, the project resulted in a 49% reduction in refrigeration asset downtime and saved the company millions of dollars. It’s only by measuring the “before and after” that you can exhibit value.
Leverage prebuilt architectures: Building IoT solutions is a byzantine process. It involves putting together sensors, gateways, partner software applications, and network connections. The complexity often acts as a barrier of entry into IoT for small and mid-sized organizations. Prebuilt architectures reduce the risks and uncertainty associated with IoT deployments, resulting in accelerated time to revenue.
Offer choice and flexibility: Open platforms and technologies that don’t lock organizations into a proprietary platform enable you to choose what’s right today while retaining the flexibility to change and adjust as their projects evolve in the future.
Think smart partnerships: There’s no need to go at it alone – partnerships are essential to succeed. Complement your strengths with partners that solve problems and speed innovation. For example, choose a partner who can help connect IoT assets and extract useful analytics out of data.
Get involved in an industry consortium: Connect with those who care about the interoperability of a disruptive technology. Expand your ecosystem and collaborate with experts. Industry consortia like Edge X Foundry, Industrial Internet Consortium, and Edge Computer Consortium all collaboratively address IoT in some fashion.
Manage the value of IoT data: Shipping data to the cloud can increase cost and decrease ROI and profit. Think about investing in compute at the edge, storing data closer to the source. Open-source tools can lower the cost of IoT implementation and increase the data’s value.
Improve and reiterate: Analyzing the data generated from an IoT project will inform new features and functionality that can pave the way for new applications or customer services. When done right, the cycle of innovation will never end. AI improves the analysis of incoming data efficiently.
The ultimate goal of an IoT implementation is to make connected things simple and secure so that it generates real-time data that can be analyzed and used to create desired business outcomes. Taking an IoT product to market should not be a solitary or experimental pursuit. Collaboration should be central to your strategy. This will ensure your projects go to market with more speed and success as a result.