Four Mistakes You Must Make for IoT Projects to Succeed

By Glenn Johnson

The complexity of the Internet of Things is making many IT managers uncertain about how to develop an enterprise IoT strategy. IT managers are facing a computing world turned upside down, due to the decentralization of information inputs and control.

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Introducing a new connected network of sensors and devices to enhance the customer experience and automate business processes is challenging standard project-management practices.

Here are some traditional management mistakes that might actually be best practices for IoT projects.

Mistake #1: No Top Management Buy-In.
Typically, management buy-in from the outset of a new project is highly recommended. However, Since IoT technology is still new to most executive thought processes, a small IoT monetization proof-of-concept project may be necessary to demonstrate the potential. Until the benefits of the IoT are well understood, it might be more prudent to have only a few collaborators involved instead of trying educate, evangelize and integrate the input from several high-level managers.

Mistake #2: Using Existing Systems to Launch Disruptive Technologies.
The market hype suggests that you must obtain a new IoT monetization platform in order to successfully monetize the Internet of Things. But the reality is that many existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and integration platforms already have capabilities built in to handle IoT monetization. By making this mistake, you can avoid a major new implementation and leverage your current investments in your ERP system by integrating existing business processes with IoT systems.

Mistake #3: Beginning a Project Without a Complete Plan.
Conventional wisdom suggests that you should have all of the details in place and everything perfectly designed down to the subroutine before you begin developing your IoT solution. But the reality is that waterfall-style development projects often fail, especially in dynamic new market areas. Using third-generation development tools combined with Agile or Agile SCRUM development techniques can enable rapid prototyping. Allow stakeholders to provide input all along the process so that the project can be modified quickly to reflect the realities of new IoT applications.

Mistake #4: Relying on Internal Resources for New Technologies.
Conventional wisdom also suggests that your internal resources don’t have the knowledge or skill sets to manage the monetization of the IoT. The reality is that many of the skilled professionals you already have in your organization may be the ideal people to work on your IoT monetization projects because they already understand your existing systems and business processes. While you may supplement your team with outside resources and service providers, nobody knows your business better than you do.

The IoT offers the chance for enterprises to deliver new applications that improve product delivery and customer service, and increase sales opportunities. But these new applications will also bring new challenges and expectations. Some of the best project-management strategies for IoT monetization might be considered mistakes under normal circumstances, but new innovations like the Internet of Things require creative project-management strategies to help realize the full opportunity with an acceptable level of risk.

Glenn Johnson is the senior VP of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. He has presented his views on the Internet of Things at dozens of industry meetings and conferences, and his interviews about software industry issues have been aired on NBC’s Today Show, as well as E! News and Discovery.