Many companies, across all industries, face challenges with the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, driving them to continue to deploy "single-point solutions" that focus on the IoT technology and are limited in their business scope and results.
A single IoT solution — even if it delivers some business value — does not make for a business strategy. Additionally, many enterprises approach IoT solutions as IT solutions, which are point solutions, and they have not identified the extensible opportunity in IoT.
Using IoT to your advantage requires developing an IoT framework that supports the formal creation of an enterprise IoT strategy and a set of viable operational plans to deploy business-focused solutions.
Step 1: Apply a Business Approach to Developing the IoT Framework
An effective framework spells out and measures business objectives and success criteria in terms that can be understood across business, IT, and operational technology groups. Using such an approach focuses on what to enable through IoT and why.
- Create Your IoT Vision — Support the business’ goals and strategies, not the technology. The technical strategy is developed to follow and support the business objectives. A company should not limit the vision of the business due to perceived technical limitations.
- Assess Maturity Level for Deploying IoT — Is the firm ready to deploy this transformative technology, both from a business and technical perspective?
- Prioritizing the IoT Solution Rollout — Define the right set of prioritized IoT solutions that align with business benefits and key performance indicators (KPIs) that can measure success. Anticipate that the solutions — and their priorities — will evolve over time.
Remember, this is not a one-time effort – the framework should be reviewed and updated every six to 12 months.
Step 2: Align Your IoT-Enabled Solutions with Prioritized Business Outcomes
It is essential to ensure your prioritized IoT solutions align with a clear set of business goals or expected outcomes. Before architecting and implementing any IoT solution, describe the solution's associated IoT use cases, including the business value that the initial IoT pilot(s) will deliver to the enterprise. This step is critical, as it describes what new functionality, capabilities, or differentiation your IoT project will deliver. It links these to the impact on customers, validates what business outcomes you can expect, and establishes the metrics by which your IoT project's success will be measured.
Identify the enterprise's business goal priorities. These might be bottom-line opportunities, such as cost savings and operational efficiency, or top-line goals, such as new products. Align all IoT-enabled solutions, from the proof of concept (PoC) onward, with prioritized, business-outcome value that links to the enterprise's business priorities.
Step 3: Seek Assistance from an IoT Service Provider with a Proven IoT Framework Approach
IoT service providers continue to run parallel with end users when it comes to IoT solution deployment. Most providers are still finding their way in terms of proven IoT expertise because their client base continues to execute point solutions in either PoC or pilot mode. As more end users take on IoT solution design, build and deploy, more providers will do the same. However, some providers have begun to work with clients in developing IoT plans, whether this be strategic planning, operational planning and or the development of an IoT framework.
Developing your IoT framework? Check out this exclusive Gartner research report, “IoT: Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast” for more information.