3 suggestions for enterprises beginning their IoT journey
Bosch ConnectedWorld Chicago was a great opportunity for industrial experts and technologists to get together and talk about the future of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The venue – Morgan Manufacturing – was perfectly suited for such a discussion – an industrial building fully-renovated into a modern and elegant event space.
#BCW16 talks delivered both: great insights into the current state of IoT, and visionary talks about what the future holds. From real-world IoT solutions demonstrated on the show floor demos from Bosch to inspiring keynote talks like Garage Partners’ Dan Makoski’s (where everyone got to sculpt a toothbrush of the future from Play-Doh) – there was something for everyone.
At MachNation, we are exclusively focused on providing expert IoT advice, guidance and support to enterprises, vendors and service providers around the world. We get to hear from companies that are IoT vendors and also from companies that are in varying stages of transforming their businesses into connected ones.
For enterprises in the latter category that are just beginning their IoT journey, I’d like to suggest three steps that will ensure success:
1. Identify IoT opportunities
The first step is to take a step back, and identify key areas of the business where IoT can make the biggest difference. Leaders driving the adoption of IoT should closely examine areas of greatest inefficiency that could be ameliorated with a connected solution, or areas where a connected solution can provide the greatest value to customers. As part of the process to identify opportunities, it’s important to take into account the impact the solution will have on every department it affects: both at the managerial as well as at the ‘assembly line’ level. A small proof of concept or pilot project is a great way to test not only that a solution is technically viable, but that it makes business sense.
2. Incorporate IoT into strategic vision
The second step requires IoT buy-in at the executive level. The IoT is transformational change for private and public sector organizations. A successful digital transformation requires cross-functional collaboration within an organization. It involves not just IT and OT, but also a diverse supporting cast of players across most, if not all, business functions. Leadership at the executive level ensures that the entire organization is aligned and well-positioned to tackle the challenges of introducing new technology, refining process, and training employees to take advantage of the benefits of an IoT-enabled business.
3. Select the right IoT partners
If there’s one message that resonated the loudest during the two days at Bosch ConnectedWorld, it’s that it takes a team of vendors to build and bring an IoT solution to market. For enterprises taking their first steps towards implementing an IoT solution, the process of selecting the right vendors to work with is daunting. It’s not easy to understand the vast IoT landscape, and even more difficult to keep up with the rapidly evolving landscape. Our recommendation is to work with companies that don’t try to do everything themselves, and focus on an ecosystem play instead. Equally as important, we advise our partners to look for IoT companies that not only have a product today, but share a complementary vision of the future that is every bit as inspiring as it is practical.