The complex and fragmented internet of things (IoT) ecosystem has left organisations grappling with how to navigate it effectively. Unfortunately, there is no clear road map for IoT implementation.

Having this road map could help organisations understand the progression and necessary steps to fully leverage IoT’s transformative potential and the absence of a step-by-step guide presents an opportunity for a knowledgeable entity to step in and provide the much-needed guidance.

This was one of the discussion points in a recent round table hosted by TechCentral, HPE Aruba and Tarsus Distribution.

Themed “Accelerating IoT-driven transformation”, the event saw a diverse group of C-suite executives from several industries including telecoms, retail, transport, mining and the public sector come together to explore the potential business value derived from IoT technologies.

A comprehensive road map

The core discussion points delved into various aspects, including challenges in IoT implementation, defining value perception, budget allocation, the role of channel partners and vendors, and preferences in consumption models.

What became clear from the dynamic exchange of ideas and experiences was the need for a more comprehensive roadmap for IoT, better understanding of the potential value, the role of evangelists in promoting IoT, and the importance of addressing training and resistance to change.

Understanding the value of IoT

Another challenge that came to light was the limited understanding of the value that IoT and other technologies can bring to businesses. Often, companies fail to recognise the untapped potential in these technologies.

To bridge this gap, there is a need for evangelists who can articulate and demonstrate the value of these technologies to businesses.

The discussion also veered towards the critical aspect of educating and training staff on IoT technologies and the need to reskill for new roles that these technologies can create. The importance of a proactive change management programme was emphasised.

Without proper guidance, employees might resist technological changes, which could potentially hinder the adoption of IoT solutions.

Driving value

The financial aspects of IoT adoption also surfaced as a significant challenge. CFOs often hesitate to fund IoT projects without a clear demonstration of their value.

In many cases, proving the value of IoT initiatives can take longer than expected, leading to increased costs and missing KPIs. Addressing these financial challenges is essential for the successful implementation of IoT solutions.

Another intriguing debate revolved around whether organisations should adopt a top-down or bottom-up strategy for IoT implementation. It was observed that a bottom-up approach, beginning with smaller-scale projects, has proven more effective in environments constrained by various challenges. This approach allows for proving the concept and gaining acceptance before scaling up.

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Innovative strategies for generating ideas, even in the absence of ample funding, were also discussed. Hackathons emerged as a viable method for initiating IoT projects with limited investment. Collaboration with partners who are willing to take risks can help drive innovation in IoT solutions.

The IoT ecosystem’s complexity was also acknowledged and a shift away from traditional, large system integrators to smaller niche players was highlighted.

These niche partners bring specialised skills and agility to the table, making them valuable contributors. However, the challenge remains in piecing together a cohesive approach from these diverse players to ensure a successful end result.

The ultimate goal

In the midst of all these challenges and discussions, the overarching objective of IoT implementation remains clear—demonstrating business value. The success of any IoT-driven transformation project hinges on its ability to showcase tangible benefits for organisations.

Attendees agreed that the IoT landscape continues to evolve, so businesses must address these challenges proactively and embrace innovative solutions to fully unlock the potential of IoT-driven transformation.

By adopting the insights from this discussion, businesses can navigate the complex IoT ecosystem successfully and, in the process, drive substantial value.

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