The investment in innovative technologies, organizational capability, partnerships and the skills required to realize the value are holding back the development of IoT solutions. It is difficult to estimate the ROI due to so many unknown factors. However, it’s not a question about digitalization or not, just HOW, WHEN, and for HOW MUCH?
Sensative has provided IoT sensors and the Yggio platform to many projects and we have over time gathered some insights in how to get started with IoT. We believe that this is the best approach for successful and profitable digitalization and IoT implementation.
Start with your business objectives
IoT is not the goal, but it’s a valuable tool for reaching goals. Start with what you want to achieve with your business; What’s your vision? What is your digitalization strategy?
Think of your project as not just implementing IoT solutions, but as a change process that will likely transform your whole company. This means that IoT is not an isolated project, it will have an impact on every employee.
IoT is a multi-year journey, not a one-time event
Understand potential pitfalls, and what to do to minimize the impact
IoT involves many significant changes through access to new data, new technologies, and new methods. When you get started with IoT in your organization, the most difficult challenge can be to change the culture and work methods. Make sure you have support from affected stakeholders, over-communicate, and frequently report to make sure everyone is on the train.
Another major challenge is the existing technology and IT systems. Here it is crucial to choose the right architecture and platform to be able to reuse as much as possible, just adding the new IoT data.
Select a scalable solution
One of the most substantial challenges you have is technology—legacy systems and vendor-proprietary solutions that form silos of locked-in and incompatible data. Adding a complete vertical end-to-end IoT solution makes things even worse.
To be able to re-use as much as possible, you need a horizontal integration platform that enables any vertical application and the sharing of resources and data between legacy and new systems.
The platform should also be based on open standards, open-source, scalable, and be possible to deploy wherever you need it—everything to minimize the risk of being locked-in to a specific vendor and solution.
Remember that the value is created through access to actionable data that can be re-used in systems and use cases you can’t even imagine today. This is the foundation for future-proof operations.
Select a simple use case to start with. For instance, measure temperature in a few spaces. Drive this project through all organizational and technical obstacles and learn along the way how IoT fits in your operations.
Determine goals and define KPI’s to measure success.
Open clear communication channels, perhaps anonymous, for staff to address concerns. By being responsive, you demonstrate a commitment to the organization and create a foundation for acceptance from the beginning, as well as in future use cases. Explain in real, human terms the value of the collected data, the fact that it is anonymized, and ultimately for the common good. Whenever possible, share the data live with the staff on, for instance, a dashboard on an internal web page.
Phase the roll-out and make sure that you have usable and actionable data from day 1.
Measure, measure, measure…
Did you reach your KPI targets? If you did, good job! If not, why? What can you learn? You now have the result of the first use case. What was the total cost? What did you gain? Make your ROI estimates, producing the input for budgets and plans for the next use cases.
Communicate the results of the project to the organization. Stress about the greater good that you have accomplished regarding for instance sustainability, safety, efficiency, and so on. This paves the way for the next steps.
If you made the right choices in platforms and technologies you will now be able to reuse most, and it might be surprising how much higher the ROI will be in the following use cases.
Reusing the first use case means reusing investments in the platform as well as the process and organizational development. IoT is a game-changer for internal processes and business. You are becoming data-driven.