Probably many people already saw the results of the Cisco research, which showed that 60% of IoT projects get stuck at the prototype stage, and only 26% of companies considered their IoT projects to be completely successful.
Excessively long time frames for project completion, lack of experience, low data quality, lack of integration across business departments, and budget overruns has been identified as key drivers of projects failure.
It is clear from the above that, although the IoT is mostly about tech stuff, project success or failure mostly depends on the human factor. A huge role in the successful implementation of the IoT project belongs to such factors as corporate culture, organization, and leadership.
The factors that determine the results of IoT projects are related to people and their interaction:
- 54% of respondents consider cooperation between IT and business departments the most important;
- 49% had put the technologically oriented production culture, based on the principles of top-down leadership and strong support at the forefront;
- 48% had chosen the presence of previous experience in the field of the Internet of things, which has been acquired within the company or as a result of cooperation with external partners;
- Companies who managed to build the most successful IoT projects had used the benefits of ecosystem partnership more widely. They cooperated with partners at all stages, from strategic planning to analysis of implementation results.
It is important to understand that the heads of IT department and business units have their own criteria for a successful project, which do not always overlap. For the head of the IT department, technologies, organizational culture, experience, and vendors are more important. Heads of business units focus on strategy, operations, feasibility studies and financial KPIs.
This explains the curious disagreement among the respondents: 35% of heads of IT departments considered their projects to be entirely successful, while only 15% of business unit heads thought the same way.
What should I do to avoid joining the rank of a doomed IoT projects?
In this article, we plan to describe the technological and management competencies, which are crucial for the team that intends to start a pilot IoT project and wants to finish it successfully.
A little diversion to the topic of IoT specifics
The whole array of decisions made in IoT management could be structured into three levels: lower, middle and top.
Solutions and interaction systems that allow communication between individual components of a single system (enterprise) are at the bottom level. Machines and factory equipment with integrated sensors that transmit data to distributed systems of operational control belong to the middle level. Finally, at the top level are cloud solutions that allow people to analyze incoming data using powerful predictive analytics tools and manage the enterprise operations in real time.
Where to start?
You need to start with the analysis of current market situation and opportunities to understand what results you are going to get and how exactly you will get them. This analysis requires a set of economic, technological and entrepreneurial skills, so you might want to create a strategic multidisciplinary team to conduct it. This will help you to understand how to integrate the IoT solution into the existing infrastructure, whether it is possible to take advantage of already existing infrastructure or to identify the obsolete elements that should be replaced. At the lower – technological – level, expertise is needed in the field of data transmission networks, programming, management of infrastructure elements, etc.
Considering the possibility of using specific IoT-solutions for the development of your business, it is necessary to answer several important questions. What challenges your company and which IoT vendor offers solutions that would suit your business? How are you going to optimize business processes and perform staff training? What type of cloud storage (private, public, hybrid) will you use to avoid storing enormous amounts of data on your own servers? When do you expect to get the results? Realistic expectations won’t include a guaranteed return on investment within three to six months.
A major factor in the success of the IoT project is the company’s ability to analyze a large amount of relevant information and optimize the business process or product on its basis.
The company itself may not have a deep technical expertise in IoT. It’s not necessary. What’s the most important, is to choose the right contractor and establish a competent project implementation process, starting with the audit and ending with the complex integration.
As a customer, you need to be an expert in the framework of your main technological process. When you want to achieve reasonable time to market, it is more efficient to involve the external experts. The joint project team will be most effective.
In case you’re in search of the reliable contractor, we welcome you to check our product capabilities and contact representatives at any of our offices worldwide.