Internet of Things devices and technologies are no longer”emergent,” they are active everywhere. The list of applications is long and continues to grow every day. But even so, not every deployment of the technology is successful. In fact, according to a survey from Cisco, the reality is quite the opposite. Deployment of IoT technologies gets stalled 60 percent of the time, with only 26 percent of respondents indicating their efforts were successful.
Of course, this isn’t due to failings of the technology itself, but because of poor planning, implementation and applications employed by the a doptees. It does raise some concern about the true value of IoT, at least for most businesses that are planning to deploy it, either now or in the near future. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help dampen the risks of failure.
1. Start Small, Minimize the Rollout
IoT is exciting, so it’s understandable why you might want to rip off the band-aid as far as implementing it across your organization or business.Instead, it’s better to take your time and roll out the tech in waves.
Start small, and work your way outward as your implementations are more successful. A few quick wins at the beginning are certainly preferable to a big loss. But it can also turn into the boost you need to improve, enhance or even come up with more innovative solutions for future roll outs.
Stick with just one or two processes or operational components at the beginning. It will also make things much easier if you run into problems.
2. Establish a Proper Analytics System
IoT devices are constantly collecting, transmitting and sharing data,with the potential for most of it going to waste. If you don’t have a proper analytics tool set for scooping up this content, processing and then extracting insights, there’s almost no reason to deal with connected technologies in the first place.
Access to the nuanced and convenient data is one of the biggest benefits of installing connected devices. You are doing yourself — and your customers — a huge disservice by implementing the technology without a proper digital intelligence strategy in place.
3. Improvement Is the Focus
Almost all IoT devices and systems will provide enhanced utility and innovation, especially when it comes to intelligence gathering. That means you will see gains regardless of what you choose. Therefore, it’s important to prioritize efficiency and general improvements for your business, teams and even customers above all else.
If a device or technology isn’t going to improve the way you handle operations substantially, then it’s not worth the investment. Focus on that idea of improvement, choosing only the systems and devices that offer the biggest boons.
4. Secure Your Infrastructure
You don’t want to lose internet access in the middle of an operation or event. That’s why it’s important to really nail down the infrastructure you have in place because it will support your entire network of devices and systems.
There must be several access points, not just one, with backup solutions in the event of a failure. You must also have a top-tier internet connection, which might even require striking up a partnership with a service provider. Also, consider the devices you’ll use to broadcast and facilitate wireless connectivity — things such as routers, mesh networking systems,endpoint security hardware and even cloud computing solutions will play a role in your network’s up time.
5. Prepare for Instant Scaling
IoT allows for the scaling of systems and networks well beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. Where you once had to ensure your systems were able to get scaled at a later time, that’s no longer the case. It’s the opposite, in fact. You need to ensure your business and team(s) are ready for the massive implications that come with always-on, always-connected devices.
Can you handle the sheer security and data protection requirements thatare necessary? Is your infrastructure ready and capable of having dozens, if not hundreds of connected devices operating simultaneously? Do you have the proper controls and oversight to handle all these new devices and keep them operational? Do you have the necessary maintenance staff, IT support professionals and additional resources that power such a system?
Once you turn on a deployed IoT device, that’s it, from that point on it will continue to collect, collate and transmit data indefinitely. Make sure you have your ducks in a row before doing that.
Preparation and Planning Are Key
You must have a proper plan or strategy in place before deploying or installing IoT equipment, and it’s that simple. Know what you will use the technology for, what you will do with the resulting data and how it’s going to impact your operations. Don’t go into the implementation process blindly,because that’s how you get yourself — and your business — into trouble.