IoT Strategy and Readiness Part I: Generating a Foundation for IoT Execution

4 minute read

The immense promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is matched only by its complexity. To fully realize that promise, businesses must conduct an honest, comprehensive assessment of organizational IoT readiness and generate an IoT strategy. To address these critical elements for success, KORE’s President and CEO Romil Bahl provides insight in a two-part report series. This blog provides a summary of Romil’s expertise on IoT strategy. For a more in-depth examination of IoT readiness, check out part II.

The Strategy-First Approach

An IoT strategy should be no different from, or at least should be directly driven from, the overall business strategy. The most important goals of an organization should all have IoT initiatives identified that can help with breakthrough results, from improved customer experience and revenue generation to reduced costs and other internal efficiencies. Each individual IoT sub-strategy or initiative should begin with the identification of targeted business processes to allow an organization to understand where these processes operate, the back-end systems that need to be integrated, etc. This understanding lays the groundwork for the numerous strategic decisions that follow, with some of the most integral elements listed below: 

  • Security Requirements – It is imperative to design and build your solution with security as a top priority. The level of security protocols required is directly proportional to the importance and sensitivity of the data and systems the solution is accessing, and best practices should have security “designed in” and actualized across all layers of the IoT solution.
  • IoT Network Architecture – There are myriad network technology options available for connecting IoT solutions, and each option has very specific capabilities related to range, bandwidth, throughput, security, scalability, mobility support, and cost. Closely examine these technologies to determine the optimal solution to support the desired outcomes of your IoT project.
  • IoT Device Requirements – When selecting IoT devices, first decide if you are going to design and build proprietary equipment in-house, or if an off-the-shelf device will fit the bill. Be sure to select the proper device compatible with the desired network, security, and application requirements.
  • Procurement and Sourcing Strategy – The IoT ecosystem is highly complex, with countless vendors offering various single-point solutions, components, systems, and services required to deploy an IoT solution. Consider all potential procurement activities such as demand forecasting, order management, and inventory management, to ensure resources are in place to manage these processes.
  • Piloting Solution(s) – Pilot programs allow organizations to better understand where and how targeted business processes take place, which back-end systems they are integrated with, as well as how to design critical security requirements. Key learnings from pilot programs can guide many of the strategic decisions that follow in a larger deployment increasing the chances of long-term success.
  • Establishing an Organization – IoT solutions often demand enhanced, cross-functional collaboration. Determine which processes will be handled internally, which will require outside assistance, and how those internal and external teams will work together. Due to the significant resources and experience demanded for IoT deployments, engaging a trusted IoT partner that can support and complement internal teams is often recommended.
  • Establishing Governance – IoT governance focuses on the lifecycle of IoT devices, data managed by the IoT solution, and IoT applications. Defining IoT governance in the strategy phase ensures the concepts and principles of the solution’s distributed architecture deliver on the stated business goals.
  • Establishing and Continuously Monitoring KPIs – KPIs for IoT applications and projects should assess the business impact of the solution you are bringing to market. Establishing baselines and benchmarks early in the process ensures that everyone involved agrees on how the initiative is progressing.

 

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that can be applied across industries and unique applications. However, promoting collaboration, ensuring best-in-class security, and choosing the optimal technology mix provides the necessary foundation for IoT success, and partnering with a trusted IoT advisor with deep IoT knowledge and experience, global reach, purpose-built solutions, and deployment agility accelerates value realization and materially impacts business outcomes.

Next Steps

For a detailed approach on building your IoT strategy, Romil’s full report “IoT Strategy & Readiness Part I: Generating a Foundation for IoT Execution” can be found here. Also be on the lookout for our next blog, providing insight on determining IoT Readiness.

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