Date published: 1-2-2016
Ten steps to unlock the opportunities of Internet of Things (IoT)
Currently many companies are exploring the opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Many post, blogs and articles are being published to explain what IoT is about, its potential value and its impact in certain business sectors. That said it leaves most with the question: but how to really materialize and monetize on the opportunities IoT could bring to your business?
Therefore I don’t want to focus on explaining IoT in this post as there are already plenty of great articles around. However if you would like to get an idea what IoT is about, here is an article I just picked one from Forbes written by Jacob Morgan: a simple explanation of “The Internet of Things” (2014). If you require more great articles or presentations I am happy to share additional information with you. Just send me a LinkedIn invite to connect or send me an Inmail.
For me as an entrepreneur and senior consultant to leading and groundbreaking technology companies, it is interesting to take the conversation beyond this level. How to unlock the opportunities of the Internet of Things within your organization?
As with all new trends, on IoT most companies have to overcome some major challenges:
- Knowledge – acquiring the right knowledge to understand, develop your route on IoT.
- Business Model Innovation – the ability to design and deploy a new business model based on IoT.
- Innovation and co-creation – develop and run innovation projects together with partners and customers.
- Organizational agility – The change from working in departmental silo’s towards multi-disciplinary, cross departmental agile teams.
- Go-to-Market – new technology and methods are required embedding new digital opportunities accelerate engagement and sales to your potential customer base.
For some companies these challenges are rather easy to overcome, because of their innovative culture, company size and experience with working in multi-disciplinary teams, whereas others might face some serious work on these areas.
Lesson’s learned from the IoT front runners and recent projects show that a step by step approach works very well. The foundation is to create buy-in and commitment from all stakeholders by building understanding of the business opportunities including the task ahead.
Senior level management plays a significant role as they need to provide commitment and budget to the IoT initiative, even when setbacks are arising during the initiative. I am pretty much sure you will have some setbacks. Having the back up of a strategic vision & strategy and commitment during the entire process are crucial success factors.
It is important to understand that an IoT initiative is not only an IT project, but it all starts from the business. IoT adoption requires often a variety of business stakeholders and IT depending on impact areas to address. This creates the need for multi-disciplinary teams to develop and execute the projects. Each department or stakeholder has its own specific needs, requirements or desire they would like to fulfill or not to fulfill. As the projects usually are initiated and shaped around improvements, acceleration or cost reduction, you might face some resistance in cooperation. Therefore change management and management of expectations is required. Change management requires understanding, commitment, communication and project management. It is recommendable to embed the change management aspect in your IoT journey to maximize the results.
At Mark Global we have defined a 10 steps approach for successful deployment of your IoT product and/or service. In this post I am not addressing the Go-to-Market aspect of the IoT product/service. However you might find it interesting to explore how a successful Go-to-Market is being set up. To learn more about a proven structured approach: 360° Go-to-Market, which you can prepare simultaneously with the 10 steps for a successful IoT adoption approach below:
- Awareness on impact area’s in your business or sector
- Determine focus area’s for adoption
- Define strategic options
- Design business model
- Mapping of business model against internal capabilities, processes, infrastructure
- Determine roadmap – business and technical
- Design IoT solution
- Test IoT solution and components
- Implement IoT solution
- Optimize & Scale up
Just to give you a quick start here are pointers for the first step in the process:
Awareness on impact area’s in your business or sector
Ones you understand what IoT is about and got a good feel of the opportunities it has to offer, you will be able to start answering the questions, what’s in it for my business?
Basically 2 major routes you could look into:
- Optimization and acceleration
- New business models
Within the Mark Global Expertise & Innovation Centre we can draw from a wealth of information, examples, presentations and tools to setting the scene or guide you through an explorative session to assess your areas of impact, prioritize and set you up for the next phases.
Last but not least our consultants prepared an IoT readiness scan together with Metatronics, a leading smart electronics development and manufacturing company. It gives you a great first idea and initial recommendations in a free personalized report. You can do the scan by following this link: IoT readiness scan.