In today’s equipment and sensor-centric world, we read that the worldwide demand for IoT continues to climb, with estimates projecting the IoT global market of software, hardware, and services will reach $318 billion by 2023 from today’s $130 billion.
However, there continue to be significant barriers in the adoption of IoT inside organizations. The reasons range from a lack of IoT skills to security concerns, but there are other reasons why.
Mark Hung, vice president at Gartner Research, explains:
“It is important as you embark on your IoT journey that, as you set your goals, you clearly identify the business value rather than the technological challenges.”
Technology challenges are always present in enterprise-wide initiatives but they are never sufficient to stop an IoT project. They always get resolved. IoT is more than ingesting sensor data to generate improved business outcomes. What takes longer is getting buy-in on the business value IoT initiatives will bring to the organization and how IoT will change the corporate culture and employee roles.
When IoT initiatives are announced at companies today, employees wonder how this initiative will impact their roles and their jobs. Without proper and sustained communication, your IoT initiatives and adoption will falter.
To achieve the full potential of your IoT initiatives, I recommend the following to successfully adopt IoT:
- Align to a strategic initiative. Identify and attach your IoT project to an important corporate project that your CEO or divisional vice president cares about deeply.
- Find a champion. Driving change is difficult even in the best of times. You will need an executive sponsor to help navigate the organizational challenges. Equally important will be selling your IoT program to your peers. They will become your “champions” to share your vision and plans when you are not available. Have conversations with your “champions’ on the likely cultural impacts that embarking on an IoT journey might mean to the organization.
- Think big but start small. Identify a specific use case by identifying the IoT data you wish to capture and leverage to improve a business outcome that is aligned with your corporate initiative. Specify a timeline to accomplish this project. Keep it less than six months. If its longer than six months, the project is no longer small.
- Communicate your “why.” Share why this IoT initiative is important to your company, what you hope to accomplish, and how roles and responsibilities may change. Be prepared to answer and respond to questions on how this project will impact your employees and how the company may change.
- Frequent updates. As the IoT journey progresses, provide updates on what has taken place, what’s working, and what’s not working. Be candid.
- Iterate. After your initial project finishes, start another IoT project that moves you along your IoT journey.
Your journey in adopting IoT to support your strategic initiatives will be one of challenge and success as you build support in your organization by starting small and then scaling to larger objectives. But as Gartner so elegantly states: The most important thing to do is simply to get started.
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