During the CES Show in Las Vegas, Lou Lutostanski, Avnet Vice President of Internet of Things (IoT), recently shared five tips on how IoT solution developers can keep their ideas out of the “proof of concept” purgatory. There is a 75 percent failure rate when it comes to taking IoT ideas from their initial conception and full implementation.
“The ability to move an IoT concept forward requires careful planning and continued commitment,” Lutostanski wrote. “Product developers and their leadership must go all in on development—otherwise there is a risk of getting stuck in limbo, caught between the dream of what IoT could do for your business and the reality of today’s ROI—a limbo know as proof of concept (PoC) purgatory.”
Here are Lou Lutostanski’s five tips to avoid proof of concept purgatory and ensure a successful implementation.
Define your objective
IoT solutions which lack insight and only produce dashboards are destined for proof of concept purgatory. Visible data must be combined with artificial intelligence (AI) to make it smart and then it becomes valuable. Bringing data and AI together can help drive actionable insights into your organization, according to Lutostanski.
“Once you have your objective set, you’re better equipped to know what technology you need that will gather deep, actionable insights from the data your IoT project produces,” he wrote. “Your repository of data suddenly becomes all the necessary ingredients that will eventually point to transformational action. Without that objective, your project is only half-baked—it looks great, but lacks substance.”
Implement customizable communication channels
There are a lot of players involved when a new IoT project gets off of the ground, and all of them—project managers, system integrators, operations specialists, business stakeholders HR, installers and more— are going to have questions and opinions. It’s up to the IoT solution creator to make sure every department is working towards the game goal. To do so, a specific, customized and consistent communication channel must be established.
“Making sure that each stakeholder understands the end goal, and its benefit to their part of the business’s interest will forge a smooth path for implementation,” Lutostanski wrote.
Get everyone on the same page
As important as it is that everyone’s working towards the game goal, it’s also critical that all parties involved are “speaking the same language.” For example, Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) typically worked in separate arenas. According to Lutostanski, this division leads to issues that can make successfully deploying an IoT project more difficult. It will also be harder for that project to scale and grow, since cohesion between departments is how IoT projects get launched successfully.
“When it comes to managing the people on an IoT project, that’s just the start—with so many stakeholders, it’s crucial to work towards a single playbook for everyone to keep all the trains running,” Lutostanski wrote.
Get everyone on board—including the higher-ups
Your IoT project’s chances for success improve when everyone’s on board from the beginning. IoT projects and businesses get stuck when the communication between business managers and execs in the C-suite falls apart. That’s when everyone begins to look for something different. Bringing the C-suite into the fold early can help avoid these communication breakdowns. Make sure the executives understand how a particular IoT project will help the overall business.
Have clear understanding of your IoT product’s purpose
Having a use case for your IoT project can help make its purpose clear. Many IoT projects get stuck in proof of concept purgatory because they don’t have a use case. The IoT solution implementation process can be a long one, so having use cases on hand from the start of the project will make it clear for all parties on why it’s important and keep them focused on the end result.