IoT is like “teenage sex”
- “Everyone is talking about it, but nobody knows how to do it”
In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has seen a substantial growth in terms of both media attention, as well as interest within all sorts of businesses. Countless articles, presentations, press releases, etc. is floating around the web. Phrases such as “industry 4.0”, “IoT”, “digitalization”, and “disruptive technology” is thrown around like balloons at a children’s birthday party. Almost every corporation of a certain size is talking about it, but only a rare few have something to show for.
There is a limited amount of information suggesting or clarifying the preliminary steps a business should take to initiate a digital transformation. There are plenty of discussions concerning the possibilities of tomorrow, and the benefits of a complete IoT-enabled system, but rarely does anyone talk about the present
For many businesses, two of the big showstoppers are:
- defining what IoT means in their own context
- understanding how to get started
Targeting the ideal area(s), using the appropriate technology, and allocating the right amount of resources are often the main challenges to overcome.
There is no universal blueprint for establishing an IoT-system. Every business must draft a company-specific model based on their own circumstances.
The first step is to recognize potential areas of improvement by looking at ‘business pains’ solvable by collecting and analyzing relevant data. Additionally, calculating return on investment is a fundamental part of choosing the area to engage. Implementing an IoT-system is futile if the costs of the initial implementation and the continuing operation exceed the long-term returns. Moving forward with the wrong system might also mean the potential loss of opportunity in other areas.
After establishing the suitable areas to pursue, carefully outlining the scope of the project is crucial. Generally, starting small while building a scalable structure is the most practical and secure way to ensure a working, sustainable system. Targeting low hanging fruits and performing thorough proof of concepts will aid the company in creating a solid framework for future growth and augmentations.
An IoT-system’s proposed lifecycle
I will leave you with an example of a thought process. Apply this to your own business, and hopefully it will head you off in the right direction.
Commonly, companies have operations that are governed by either reactive or routine based management. Locating these areas, and utilizing IoT to transform them into operations based on necessity and predictive actions, could provide you with the opening you are looking for.