Behind all the hype, there is compelling evidence that IoT can dramatically improve business outcomes. And I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of the stats on why you need IoT. This is all great in helping you make the decision to implement IoT and when; but once you’ve made that decision what’s next?

Before your company can even begin to embrace and commit to a successful IoT implementation there are a few things to consider. Have you identified specific business outcomes and use cases where IoT can help? Having clear use cases and desired business outcomes drives the design of the appropriate IoT solution. For example:

• Improve equipment uptime across thousands of pieces of heavy equipment. You will want to scope a system that can scale to support the resulting river of data while performing sophisticated data analytics and complex event processing for the highest levels of accuracy.

• Reduce warranty and service costs. Tapping into your warranty and service systems can greatly enhance an IoT solution’s ability to meet those goals, but necessitates planning for integration and data alignment.

• Improve operational efficiencies through device management. Enhancing the intelligence of heavy equipment to perform analysis and take action when the equipment is offline – such as in an imminent unsafe situation, the equipment will shut itself down – and being able to apply over-the-air (OTA) software updates and configuration can greatly improve operational efficiencies and safety. Evaluating the best way to add this intelligence and the related systems is imperative to success.

Once you’ve identified one or more desired outcomes, ask “Is your organization ready?” This is not a simple question, and should involve cooperation between IT and operations organizations, as well as management buy-in and support. Your organization, in concert with all other areas of the business impacted by the implementation, should have a clearly defined strategy for achieving your desired business outcomes, plan for execution of the selected solution, and metrics that will guide in measuring ROI.

Stay tuned for the second installment in this series next week.