Gartner’s webinar by Alfonso Velosa discussing “Best Practices for Implementing IoT Projects” brought up great points on the current environment for Internet of Things. Some of the points can be utilized for any project that involve enterprise solutions; although some extra details which are IoT centric are key to understanding the current environment, and implementation plans.
The webinar was focused on discussing three summarized points discussed by Gartner’s Alfsonso Velosa covered:
- What are the fundamentals for a successful IoT project?
- Who needs to be involved?
- Which vendors contribute to increasing your success?
In short, have you defined the fundamentals on what smart things will do for you. Do you have clear business objectives defined? Can you apply a return on investment model with your business objective? When fundamental questions can be answered, we can move to who is driving this project, including stakeholders. To capture the success of business objectives, much like other high exposure enterprise projects, you need the right people. A VP, SVP, in essence must drive the small successes by implementation teams to keep momentum moving forward in exposure, and completion towards business objectives. Then, we move to the vendors – what new vendor from the current ecosystem, or current vendor can help support and drive your IoT project. This can also include partnerships and being able to identify your strengths and weakness to improve your success potential.
While the entire webinar is worthwhile and valuable, there are three points in the discussion that really stood out to me. Foremost, understanding there is no current standardization in the Internet of Things implementation. Many of Gartner’s customers reported they utilize IoT in the way that suits their business objectives. There was no selective vendor that offered an entire wholesome solution, or platform for IoT, but rather there are many vendors – even your current vendors, which are competitively producing IoT solutions to support their customers vision.
- There is no standardization
Internet of Things by itself offers a questionable name. What is a thing? A thing is defined by your business. There is no standard to call be right, or wrong in defining how you utilize a smart thing, and implement IoT into your architecture. While moving through your IoT Journey there is no external standardization influence, the implementation of IoT into your enterprise can lead to defining a standardized process of communication with smart things for you. Along this IoT Journey there will be the need to customize aspects of new vendor technologies or current technologies to implement your final IoT objective. Due to the need to customize for business objectives, it becomes difficult to define an IoT Standard in the industry.
- Defining your business objectives:
By far, this is the most valuable point. If you have no idea why you want to implement IoT, then you are destined for failure. Not only is defining your business objective crucial, but are you really ready for IoT? At what point of maturity is your enterprise? This can be broken down into levels based off of Gartner’s IoT Maturity Model:
Choosing a Global Software Development Partner to Accelerate Your Digital Strategy
To be successful and outpace the competition, you need a software development partner that excels in exactly the type of digital projects you are now faced with accelerating, and in the most cost effective and optimized way possible.
Level 1 – Do you a data collection from your smart things? If no, stop reading and start collections.
Level 2 – Data collection is only available to specific departs (Ex. IT and specific business)
Level 3 – The people who have access to collections can interact and manage smart things
Level 4 – You finally see an outcome from the data collection, and your smart things contain a network of more smart things
Level 5 – Your IoT implementation for smart things has the ability to begin application development to further expand on data collection, and you are able to include new offerings for ROI.
- Understand the current IoT vendor ecosystem:
The current IoT ecosystem does not have one single platform, which can fully support your IoT implementation. Buyers have to understand that to make IoT successful in their business it will take multiple vendor technologies, and partnerships in the areas you lack. Extending from your data warehouse, microservices, API Management solution for Gateway and security, and even your smart things communication to your edge gateway. This alone may consist of a few vendors for a wholesome solution. This will also lead back to the point that there is no standardization in IoT, which extends into the vendor ecosystem. Gartner points out that we will not see standardization for another decade. Most companies are still at a Level 1 or 2 of maturity, either they do not have a data collection from smart things, or still figuring out how to define ROI with their collection.
The key to keeping your IoT implementation driving towards success is your team. Your stakeholders must keep all smaller successes, or even small IoT projects in sight to drive momentum forward. Every small win should be communicated and measured towards your business objective. Results from smaller projects that was more frequent will be a bigger driver through your IoT Journey. IoT won’t happen in 1, or two years. Many of Gartner’s customers report their IoT Journey to full maturity taking 5 or more years.