I had the opportunity to attend the IoT World Conference in Santa Clara, CA last week as part of Bsquare’s presence at the expo. I enjoy these events because you get a qualitative glimpse into the state of the market. While there, we met several companies who were already well on their way to transforming their business by utilizing IoT technologies. At various keynotes and breakout sessions, these industry leaders were touting their results and the fact that they had already exceeded their projected ROIs; many were focused on improving operational efficiency and driving cost out of their business while some were actually creating new revenue streams.

But for every company already reaping benefits from IoT, I spoke with five others just starting their  journey; some were at the very beginning and still trying to educate themselves about IoT in general and others had run a pilot or two to collect data but were trying to figure out what to do next. Regardless, they were all energized and ready to jump in with both feet after hearing the various success stories from the speakers. However, at the same time, they became less sure of their path as they realized the tremendous gap between where they are today and where they want to be. Given all the components of an IoT deployment from hardware and sensors to gateways with various connectivity technologies to different cloud options and even more data analytics tools, it’s no wonder that their heads started to spin.

But, more often than not, we were able to rebuild each company’s confidence over the course of the conversation as we broke down not only their problems but also their IoT journey. “Rome wasn’t built in a day” has never been more applicable in my technology career than with respect to IoT. We always advise our customers to start with a single business problem and build from there. That way, they aren’t try to address all their company’s needs at once and just as importantly, they aren’t trying to utilize every IoT technology from day one.

Some of my friends in the industry have tired of these types of events but I still enjoy them. I like hearing the success stories – they reinforce the fact that we are on the right track. But, I enjoy hearing the concerns of different companies even more because no business challenge is insurmountable and it’s very interesting to work with companies as they try to find a path forward. Of course, every company’s IoT journey will be different but they can all lead to a successful conclusion if they just take one step at a time – or, in the case of Rome, one stone at a time.