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November 27, 2015

5 IoT Dos and Don’ts to unlock business value

List: "Do or Do not, there is no try" as IoT is only winnable for those that think big and have clear roadmaps.

By Joao Lima

The digital value of IoT has been increasing over the last few years, and businesses have to embrace five building blocks to ensure IoT success.

Kent Eriksson, fellow IoT business consultant at PTC, said: "We have democratised the way we can deliver the value of IoT, The value will be captured because it can now be delivered. The inflection point probably occurred in 2000."

In general, organisations should look what they already have within their portfolio. They should connect sub-systems and mix technologies, but with a roadmap for phase-in, phase-out moments.

He said: "Do not exclude opportunities or limit opportunities by pigeon-holing, because sometimes organisations start new IoT groups not connecting with the IoT things the company already has."

CBR lists five Dos and Don’ts based on five core IoT building blocks.


1. Start small, scale big

Eriksson said that businesses should start small, but think of scaling up big in order to fully benefit from the value of IoT.

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He said: "Start with the product because it gives ROI on IoT services. Maintenance and interface will enable new use cases.

"It starts with a specific value proposition. Each new product adds value to existing ones. You need to monitor a product because if not you cannot control it."

As for this building block, Eriksson said that the Dos include getting experience, prioritising pipeline endeavours and steam ahead – build by extending product architecture.

"[On the Don’ts side] you should not try to remove all ambiguity upfront, and although you should discuss ideas, do not do just discussion [take the idea forward]."


2. Focus on value

If organisations keep their eyes on the value of IoT, they will get the motivation to continue with their business because the value is enormous, according to Eriksson.

Companies should find and understand macro trends, and implement a no-regret opportunities mind set.

The mentioned macro trends include factories, cities, humans, retail, ‘outside’, work sites, vehicles, homes and offices.

As for the Don’ts, businesses must ensure they are not slowed down with excessive analysis.

He said: "The largest ROI is on services. You always build one step and then move on once that step is completed."


3. Take customer input & partner

Value will only be achieved if people embrace the technology, so customer feedback is crucial to succeed.

"Get customer inputs and move towards an outcome based ecosystem.

"You should understand outcomes, ask the customer to co-invent and partner with the best. Do not simply do business as usual."


4. Pay attention to security and safety

Security needs to be thought from the designing stage all the way through to the manufacturing process. However, as ‘non-living’ objects get their own IP address "we need to balance the risks and rewards."

Eriksson said that companies need to meet or even exceed customer expectations on privacy and safety. "Also segment and define fit for purpose security with a topology."

Organisations should not ignore security, compliance nor safety. At the same time, it is important not to miss rewards looking for perfect security, as it does not exist.


5. Organise yourself

"You now need to organise yourself. IoT will change every added value in your company, will change human resources, and so on."

Eriksson said that businesses should build a governance strategy, define their program, create and maintain roadmaps, and be agile and test proof concepts.

"Do not plan a onetime project or limit things to what you have done. You should not limit success by silo-thinking and define an end-state.

"Managers can think this is not scientific enough, so create business cases. If you have constraining delivery resources, it is better to offer one good product than focusing on several things."

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