5 ways to fail successfully in IoT – assuming to be the expert
Innofactor attended IoT Week 2018 event in Helsinki, where I also held a speech on “5 ways to fail successfully in IoT”. In my previous blog post I wrote about overestimating commitment and to continue the list, this time I decided to talk about my experiences on the topic of “assuming to be the expert”. This topic is related to customer organizations, who are in the process of implementing IoT solutions into their operations.
2nd fail: Assuming to be the expert
There are times when you need to base your decisions on assumptions. For business decisions, it is understandable - you need to meet deadlines and only have a partial set of statistics and market intelligence available. Another scenario might be, that there’s an abundance of hype or even conflicting information available. Without subject matter expertise, it can be nearly impossible to find the information needed. And if I think back to all the discussions, I’ve had with customers about IoT, I can see this has been the case for many of them. The IoT market is messy and there are many players grasping for a share of it. I have seen it so many times –customer organizations, having met one or two IoT solution providers and bought into their story, now assume they are subject matter experts.
Technology is rendered obsolete at an increasing rate
Yet, assumptions come with risk, and in IoT the risks are manifold. Even a standard enterprise level IoT solution requires sensor devices, (possibly) network devices, connectivity, cloud storage, analytics, a user interface, integrations and possibly much more. All the underlying technology - sensors, networks and cloud capabilities - are being developed at an increasing pace. Microsoft is investing 5 billion USD in IoT and all other major players will follow. This means that existing technology is rendered obsolete at the same rate. In addition, it’s rather easy to do small scale piloting, but once you start scaling up, you also scale up the risks. Just to give you some examples on what could go wrong:
- you found a cost-efficient sensor device for your pilot and chose to scale the solution with it, only to realize three months later that the sensor is built with obsolete components and it cannot be manufactured anymore.
- you bought a network plan from your operator and fixed your hundreds or thousands of devices with their SIM cards. Now you’re stuck with their pricing, as swapping the SIM cards to all your devices is not an option.
- you bought a ready-made solution from an IoT provider – the sensors, the cloud solutions with bells and whistles – and now when scaling up, you realize your data is locked in the solution provider’s cloud and there are no options to integrate the solution to your core systems like the ERP.
I have been working with IoT since 2015. I have developed IoT services for several industries, built an extensive network of device partners, devices and networks for many customers and I’m still reluctant to call myself a subject matter expert. For me, IoT is a full-time job, and even I have a hard time keeping up with the pace technology moves forward. That is the reason why I want to create and maintain an ecosystem of companies, ranging from device providers to customer organizations, so that we can share information about recent technology, as well as take advantage of cases and success stories. For me it’s the only way to keep up to speed.
Take my word for it, nobody does IoT by themselves. Don’t assume to be the expert, as nobody’s really an expert in all parts of IoT. Seek help and find the right partner for you. And be critical.
Other 3 fails that await in the list are:
- Overestimating commercial value
- Underestimating costs
- Underestimating time to market
In my next blog post I will dive in to the cost and value side of things. And if you can’t wait that long, you can always be in contact with us.
Meet us at Nordic IoT Week
Innofactor is a partner at the Nordic IoT Week (9th and 10th of April), where we will be showcasing our Indoor Logistic solution. The solution was co-created with our logistics partner Movere. Come and visit our booth to meet us and learn how we can help you in your IoT projects.
Innofactor offers many services which help customer organizations in succeeding in IoT projects and making them profitable. With the proven “IoT journey” methodology, we can help customers in all phases of the project, starting from assessing the skills and abilities of personnel, to validating business models and helping with finding the right IoT strategy. We can help establish processes and secure a path to production-ready services.
If you are interested in Jasu's tips and tricks from last year's Nordic IoT Week, check out our video of his session!