Well regarded Mountaineer Conrad Anker fairly articulated that “The summit is what drives us, But the CLIMB ITSELF is what matters.” This famous phrase rings true when adopting an IoT project. Failure to summit will occur without a well-conceived and executed adoption plan.
The McKinsey Institute advises us that overall IoT project adoption is behind projections from its 2015 study. Being behind may be due, in part, to a poorly conceived plan that failed to include the critical scalability aspect of IoT adoption. Under this hypothesis, numerous IoT projects were undertaken, BUT several never materialized beyond the prototype phase.
McKinsey has identified a few key points that successful adopters use to ensure a scalable and successful IoT roll-out.
In many companies, IoT projects tend to originate in the IT department. Perhaps, it’s an old stereotype or “train of thought” that if computers or technology are involved, then the IT department must be the one to call and take the lead. In the case of IoT and many other technological initiatives, functional business areas like supply chain or manufacturing may be the best champions for an IoT project, given IoT is tailor-made to solve many of their operational challenges.
We find that successful IoT adopters choose a Marketing, Engineering, or Product Manager lead to take ownership of the company-wide initiative and become the key contact and project manager. Selecting a single owner from various backgrounds is preferred to ensure a singular focus on reaching the summit.
IoT projects must be viewed as an entire company “game-changing” initiative, and adoption must be scalable to encompass all functional areas. Keeping the Summit or overall “business outcome” in mind from the beginning will position for success. – Jon Hallsten
Often, we find that the end goal of a client is to produce a prototype for demonstration. If a prototype is the end goal, then designing for scalability is not necessarily part of the prototype development plan, as the designer remains focused on a “basic” design to meet the prototype deliverable at the lowest cost. Kinsey describes this phenomenon as “pilot purgatory,” as firms must pay a penance for time lost and redesign cost.
A better plan involves changing the goal.
Move from “let’s build the lowest cost prototype just to see if it works” to “Let’s understand that IoT is an integral part of our future, we are ALL-IN, and failure is not an option so let’s build a scalable solution from the beginning!”
Finding and keeping talent is difficult during these challenging times. For organizations looking to tackle IoT projects, it is critical to either find appropriate internal talent or understand how to find a suitable outside partner to “fill the gaps.” Choose internal or external partners that both know what to do and, increasingly important, how to do it.
Security is on everyone’s mind, and IoT devices present another opportunity for unwelcome intrusions. Cybersecurity best practices and the firm’s standard business processes must weave into IoT design from the beginning. The ‘hardware” level is the best starting point to allow a company to create, deploy and manage its own infrastructure through the assistance of trusted partners.
Play Nice with Others
IoT projects should coexist with other systems in the design phase, allowing appropriate integration between firms. Often, IoT systems are designed as stand-alone, but a firm’s economies of scale may allow integration leverage with vendors, suppliers, and other stakeholding entities standing to gain from the synergies. For example, an IoT dispensing solution may interact with a vendor-managed inventory system with a trusted supplier. Under this scenario, the developing firm sells the device, and both the customer and the development firm require specific data access. The supplier also requires access to data streams creating service potential.
Teams that apply these methodologies give their IoT solutions and their organizations their best chance of reaching the pinnacle of their trek into the adventure known as IoT.
We Can Help
When IoT projects are successful, it’s no mystery that they create direction, insights, and visibility into your organization that can be invaluable at growing and improving business operations. However, it’s an endeavor that requires the right partner to help hone in the right solution that will hit the target. Our team demystifies technology and brings years of wisdom from lessons learned to help you position your business for success.
Bring Us Your Napkins! ™
Is your team thinking about solving a business challenge with an IoT solution, but you’re unsure where to start?
A great place to start is with what we call a Napkin. A Napkin is a rough sketch of your idea, concept, or vision. Hallsten Innovations would be happy to review your napkin idea and provide feedback.
Please send them our way or reach out for an introductory call by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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