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A Guideline to CIOs for their IoT Deployments to be Successful

ManagementTeamMouli1

Chandramouli Srinivasan

The proliferation of the Internet of Things will drive widespread adoption of IoT solutions, including IoT platforms. IT leaders and directors of application infrastructure need to understand the capabilities, scope, and relationship of IoT platforms to existing IT infrastructure.

Key Challenges:

  • New IoT business solutions are composed of a complex, heterogeneous mix of IoT endpoints and platforms, and back-end systems and data.
  • IoT platforms typically offer many functionality capabilities, which vary (as do related marketing claims) from provider to provider, and IoT project requirements vary widely, making it difficult for enterprises and service providers to understand, compare and choose products.
  • IoT platforms are often bundled with specific renderings of IoT capabilities (for example, analytics) to solve specific business problems (such as predictive maintenance), but these typically, must be configured or customized to suit, and, at times, these capabilities augment and overlap (or look like) similar capabilities elsewhere in your application infrastructure.
  • Many business units are implementing use cases that include embedded Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. CIOs need to step up to provide leadership that can unleash and capture IoT benefits at the enterprise level.
  • The interplay between the four core capabilities of IoT — sense, communicate, analyze and act – makes it very different from traditional IT. This lack of familiarity makes planning difficult.
  • Confusion about the relationship between IoT, operational technology and digital business makes it a challenge to position IoT correctly within the organization.
  • The complexity and novelty of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions create challenges with controlling scope.
  • The market and technology for IoT are volatile and dynamic, increasing the risk that planned deployments can become obsolete by the time they launch.
  • Procurement options for IoT are evolving and include tying into third-party endpoints and IoT systems. In addition, emerging IoT ecosystems are forming around standards, and leading industrial and consumer brands are extending into IoT.
  • There is a high risk of IoT project failure due to technology complexity; limited internal skills; knowledge, cultural and organizational barriers; and difficulties realizing planned benefits.

Recommendations:

  • Use IoT Solution Scope Reference Model to help identify the key IoT solutions components and understand their roles, importance, and relationship to each other and existing infrastructure.
  • Commission an IoT center of excellence role to explore the potential business value of IoT solutions and their potential impact on existing IT infrastructure.
  • Plan a phased approach, to fully realize IoT project potential. Focus initially on IoT platform deployment and, over time, integrate the platform with back-end systems, data, and analytics.
  • Identify the core benefits of IoT that are most relevant to your organization. We define the eight core IoT benefits as improving operations, optimizing assets, enhancing services, generating revenues, increasing engagement, improving well-being, strengthening security and conserving resources. Link these benefits to high-level business objectives to set the strategic context for IoT.
  • Form cross-functional teams of business and technology leaders to brainstorm future business moment scenarios and the role that IoT can play. Then work collaboratively to prioritize those that warrant further development.
  • Plan how your organization can leverage the four capabilities of IoT (sense, communicate, analyze and act) in support of business moment scenarios.
  • Control the scope of early IoT use cases by reducing technology complexity, limiting the number of endpoints, and cutting down or eliminating complex integration with enterprise systems.
  • Monitor IoT market developments on an ongoing basis. Identify opportunities to substitute customized IoT components and related software with commodity mass-market components.
  • Pursue opportunities to tie into third-party IoT and emerging IoT ecosystems first, before engaging in the custom development of IoT solutions.
  • Conduct one or more IoT pilot projects before going into a production deployment. Be prepared to iterate through multiple pilots, which will reduce risk by applying lessons learned.

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