A recent IOT Enterprise Survey - by Ovum, 2017-18 (based on response from 1343 enterprises) reveals that IoT adoption is still in early stages for most of the enterprises. Triggers for IoT adoption are cost reduction, efficiency improvement, and better competitiveness. New revenue growth stream via IoT is still a distant goal for most enterprises. Companies report positive experience with IoT and are intending to grow investment in this area. Top challenges with IoT adoption are integration with existing IT, analytics capability gap, security concerns, lack of in-house capability to support scalable deployments. This indicates that by driving integration of IoT in existing business workflows, developing relevant analytical modelling and data management skills, along with addressing the security concerns organizations can drive accelerated adoption of IoT.
The transformation driven by IoT, despite early adoption stage, holds tremendous potential for businesses, and savvy leaders are already looking to leverage it as soon as possible. Apart from the navigation of technology adoption, it is equally important to identify the benefits. Investing in preplanning and getting the right constituents on board is more likely to see success with an IoT project. In addition, it might be a smart move to "think big, but start small," and to then scale iteratively but rapidly. Getting it right from the beginning and staying on track are two of the most important aspects of an IoT project.
To get the planning right from the beginning, a program leader should consider three aspects. First, he or she should get CXO approvals and alignment; most IoT projects will be cross-functional in both impact and outcome, so a top-driven approach will help expedite decision-making and adoption. In addition, for a project using technology and standards that are still evolving, getting executive buy-in and expectation, alignment is critical. Otherwise, the risk of failure is high.
Second, the program leader should ensure there is alignment between business operations and IT. IoT is a technology enabler aimed at improving or transforming operations that touch existing technology infrastructure. Therefore, working with careful planning, sharing responsibilities and ownership, and having common goals in mind are critical.
Finally, he or she should make sure that the right data collection system is in place. This will include creating a blueprint of the data that needs to be captured, and establishing a reliable communication channel and an IoT data platform that creates intelligence from the data. Once the data is captured in the right way, extracting actionable intelligence from it to drive informed decisions is how transformational value is created.
Here are a few best practices for IoT projects:
- Make sure that the project has defined, tangible outcomes. This helps in achieving the desired roadmap
- Be realistic in planning your IoT project. If you are an early IoT adopter, be cognizant of the fact that your organization's capabilities will be limited and that there will be much learning required as your project takes shape to deliver
- IoT-led business transformation will also need extensive organizational change management, which needs to be carried out skilfully. Adjusting to new ways of working, new processes, and new policies need to happen in lock-step to achieve the desired end objectives
- Significant IoT projects may affect multiple teams across an organization. It's important that you involve these teams from the onset, and that you establish a culture of shared ownership to drive the project's success. Identify and secure the commitment of key business leaders to ensure that IoT projects receive the necessary focus and support from all quarters of the organization
- Make sure to build the necessary partnerships with teams inside your organization, as well as externally with IoT technology vendors, experts, and consultants, to ensure that your IoT capabilities are well augmented.
Driving business outcomes is a key deliverable from a successful IoT program. However, to make your IoT vision a reality, you need to be flexible and willing to adapt. Approaching such projects with significant levels of controls and preconceived notions will only lead to disappointment. An open approach has a better chance of success.
About IoT WoRKSTM
IoT WoRKSTM, a dedicated Internet of Things (IoT) business unit of HCL Technologies, enables organizations to create best–in–class business solutions by maximizing effectiveness and returns on their asset investments. These solutions enable IoT led business transformation through creation of more efficient business processes, new revenue streams and business models that deliver measurable business outcomes. The transformative impact of IoT is realized by IoTizing the ‘things’, connect the assets to a data platform and then use the data to derive business insights and take business decisions which ultimately lead to change in enterprise’s processes and people practices.