From monitoring machines on the factory floor to tracking environmental changes on a heavy-duty freight truck, IoT technology has helped businesses run better, smarter, and more cost effectively. Many organizations have already begun to see the value and benefits to an IoT implementation. That said, companies must make an array of decisions and enact many changes before reaching a payoff. The learning curve for personnel – like operational managers and technicians – is another factor affecting time to value.

Successful, efficient IoT adoption requires effective cross-functional collaboration. However, teams and stakeholders from different areas of the organization will have a variety of backgrounds, worldviews, and ideas on how IoT should work for them. Creating an internal organization responsible for IoT – such as a Center of Excellence (or ‘CoE’) – can help unify disparate perspectives to establish shared thoughts on objectives, strategy, and roadmap.

An ideal CoE has a balanced leadership team of both information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) experts. Each team member clearly understands the IoT adoption proposal, where they are currently in the process, and where they want to be. Joining forces also allows teams to work well together while providing a safety net for setbacks and other challenges. Instead of running into unexpected problems, teams can plan ahead and make adjustments accordingly, which drives faster results and reduces costs.

So, when should a business set up a CoE? The answer is as early as possible, but it’s never too late to start one – preferably as part of the overall technology plan because of the ongoing support needed. An equal mix of SMEs across IT and OT should be involved, as well as executive sponsorship. Regular communication of progress and circulating resources are important responsibilities distributed among the team. By promoting self-sufficiency within a business, CoEs can help teams share knowledge and support to better handle any changes or challenges that may occur in the IoT implementation process.

For insights into the common questions businesses ask when instituting an IoT Center of Excellence, check out our article in Network World.