Few technological advances have the potential to transform businesses across industries and around the world as definitively as the Internet of Things (IoT). Thanks in part to rapid globalization, increased demand for personalized services, the need for highly accurate real-time data, and the demand for more efficient and sustainable business practices, by 2021 there will be an estimated 35 billion IoT devices online. Early adopters of IoT who know how, when, and where to deploy them are poised to redefine best practices in industries as disparate as healthcare, consumer goods, infrastructure management, transportation, and even the military, as well as gain a sizeable lead on their competition.
According to research conducted by Forbes and Intel, the vast majority (84%) of business leaders and executive decisionmakers say that their IoT networks have grown over the past three years. Even more (85%) anticipate seeing continued growth in the IoT space, and six in ten executives surveyed said that IoT opened new lines of business for the company. Furthermore, early IoT adopters are seven times more likely to realize high growth rates as opposed to laggards, and roughly 75% of businesses with pro-IoT policies expect profit growth rates of over 25% as a direct outcome of their IoT programs.
Unfortunately, about half of all IoT programs were found to be behind expectations for a variety of reasons, from unclear goals to irrelevant measures of success. The results from this extensive study show that an IoT implementation will only work if you design and deploy it the right way, and that starts with the pilot program.
Below are steps to consider when planning to launch your IoT pilot program:
1. What Is the Program’s Value Proposition and Path to Rollout?
Do you have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve with your IoT initiatives, or is the impetus merely the adoption of the latest tech available? A value-led implementation backed by a real business need is critical. You must be able to show how IoT can add value, but you must also show that the programs value-added will exceed its costs.
Additionally, think about the best way to demonstrate the program’s value to all relevant stakeholders. Should you use a pilot program, a proof of concept, or create a minimum viable product? Choosing the right strategy will make it easier to get the approvals necessary to get things rolling.
2. Choose Your Deployment Setting
Where will you run the program? Your choice should maximize the measurable impact of the project, but it should also be easy to set up and run. This means your IoT devices and their associated components should easily connect to your existing infrastructure and networks. You should run a network assessment to verify data transmission integration and to determine if your devices and data recording and transmission tools will work the way you envision them.
3. Outline Concrete Goals and Measures of Success
How will you determine whether your IoT pilot succeeded or failed? How will its impact on a business goal be determined? Standard measures of success or failure include device run times, the ease or complexity of device management, sensor and network connectivity specs, bandwidth requirements, speed, usage length, frequency, and the results of security monitoring and analysis.
Your success parameters can be further broken down or adjusted based on your industry or use case. For example, healthcare IoT programs may require HIPAA compliance, so on the security side, you may require multi-device and AAA management, secure edge/gateway management, and various data protection and encryption requirements that your program must meet. On the other hand, IoT programs in the manufacturing space may focus on connectivity management and coverage areas to determine the feasibility and success or failure of the proposed plan.
4. Create, Run, and Evaluate the Pilot
Next, create and run your pilot based on what you want to achieve, the measures of success, and the desired end-goals discussed above. Remember to keep future scaling in mind as well. What will your program need in terms of coding, data collection, data storage, processing, and security once it is five, ten, or 20 times larger than it is today?
5. Document Deployment Steps, Including Dependencies and Success Factors
If your pilot is successful, you will want a record of what went right—and what did not—so that you can forge ahead with a broader rollout. Not doing so will send you and everyone on the project team back to the drawing board.
6. Deploy the Program in New Business Lines
Change management is critical to the success of any new venture and being unable to get people on board or use the program as intended can be tantamount to failure. You need to change business processes, corporate culture, and people’s behavior around your newfound uses of IoT. This may involve demonstrating the program’s proof of value, providing training on how to use the IoT network or the data it collects, providing incentives for adoption, or a combination of the above. Once your bottom-line results are in, the end will justify the means.
Kajeet will help you design and roll out an IoT pilot that works for your line of business, one that will measurably improve your company’s efficiency. To speak with an experienced Solution Engineer, contact us today.