Where to Start with the Internet of Things

  • December 11, 2017

    Where to Start with the Internet of Things

    The Internet of Things (IoT) only recently arrived in everyday business vocabulary. However, it’s really a catch-all that describes a phenomenon that’s been going on for a while. It’s exactly how it sounds; physical objects that connect to the internet.

    While the concept boils down to something we’re all familiar with, it becomes more abstruse when scaling IoT for enterprise. Nearly all aspects of business can benefit from IoT. However, when incorporating IoT into your company’s strategy it’s important to distinguish between value drivers versus frivolity. Kick starting your IoT strategy may be easier than you think with technologies that already in exist in-house. This guide will help provide some clarity on where to start your IoT digital transformation.

    Define your Goals

    Before you even start brainstorming, define what you want to achieve with IoT. Even better, define what you want to achieve and how you plan to measure its contribution. What do the key success metrics look like? Does this contribute directly to value add activities? Does this pivot your business in a new direction in which you want to go? These are all important questions to ask before pursuing any project or investment. It’s easy to wow customers and executives with gadgets and dashboards, but what value do those tools really bring to the table?

    Identify your Hardware

    Forbes outlines identifying hardware as a key differentiator between IoT and software launches. After you understand what your IoT goals entail, identify the hardware that is required. You may be surprised by the potential of your existing inventory. If your organization requires deploying new hardware, you may need to customize it for your business and thus partner with OEMs. The devices need to sync with existing systems required for data collection such as ERPs, WMSs or consumer apps.

    Match Data with Metrics

    Data collected through IoT will serve your objectives in different ways. Some data points must be transmitted in real time for visibility or monitoring purposes, while others can be stored and analyzed later. Define which data points fall into what categories and set up your IoT devices and systems accordingly.

    Governance and Security

    Many companies are racing to implement IoT technologies across their organizations. These technologies can be a game-changer when it comes to visibility, customer insight and overall business intelligence. However, they also leave companies, employees and consumers vulnerable to security threats. Any connection to the internet creates an additional portal for negative disruption. Companies must establish governance and security standards in conjunction with IoT implementations.