What is the Future for the Internet of Things (IoT)?

What’s your future with the Internet of Things (IoT)?What’s your future with the Internet of Things (IoT)?

IBM InterConnect Conference is going on next week. I will be attending it as an IBM IoT Futurist. What does this mean to you? How can I help you better understand what is going on in the world of IoT? Just to make sure you understand what I mean by IoT, this is not a typo. IoT stands for Internet of Things.

This is the second article in my series on what I’d like to learn at the IBM InterConnect Conference. Today’s article shares a framework on the Internet of Things. From this point on I’ll refer to it as IoT, so I don’t tire out my typing fingers before the conference! You can find my first article here.

I’ve developed a simple framework for IoT. It’s designed to help my clients and partner organizations better understand the IoT discussions that they’ll be pulled into over the coming years. I have created a three-piece framework that simplifies IoT. This framework highlights the critical elements required for a successful IoT strategy and implementation. I’m in expert in two of these areas, the third I will bring outside experts to the discussion to make sure you get the best information available. Let’s get started!

The first key element of my IoT framework is teams. IoT success requires having great teams in place to help design and implement your IoT strategy. The people on your IoT teams must have a strong understanding of your business strategy. They must be good at both understanding what you are trying to do as an organization, as well as the impact it will have on how you do business.

This week, we’ll discuss your teams in a more general sense and next week we will share key qualities you want in your key team members.  The critical question I ask is, do you currently have people on your team who can lead this process? If yes, great, then we just need to provide you the training and resources you need to get started. If no, what will you need to do to find the right people?

I believe your IoT team must consist of a wider range of professionals to implement your solution. What I hope to learn at IBM InterConnect is who has been implementing these projects successfully, and how. This involves meeting with early adopters of IoT and then trying to identify patterns in successful teams and organizations.  Once I find these individual organizations, I will share what I learn.  As always, I will use the same no BS style you have learned to love on my blogs!

The second element of IoT involves the technology. This is the area where I will lean on experts who can help you better understand your options.  I will be at IBM InterConnect looking to find what your best options might be for partnering with organizations to help you implement your IoT strategy.

It’s critical to understand the nature of the IoT universe. From startups to large organizations like IBM, there are many different IoT solutions available. I believe I could spend the rest of my career writing about the different options that are available to you. I won’t, I will, however, share what I learn that will help you narrow your options.

My goal in technology is to help you find a partner who matches your unique needs. I can also point out potential landmines along your IoT journey.  This is what my clients pay me to do; that, and find strategic hires that help them achieve their goals. I’ll share ideas on how I do this in future blogs, after I meet and interview different partners and technology providers. I’m sure you will find these articles helpful. This part of the IoT Journey is about people and technology and you should find it helpful as you work your way through creating your own technology solution.

The final third of the IoT Framework is transformation. IoT offers the organizations who embrace it the ability to transform their markets. Many organizations embracing IoT get the first two parts of the framework correct, but miss this critical third element on their  journey. If you miss this part, the other two will not make you successful. You will not get the full benefits of your IoT implementation.

I believe that successful IoT implementations need an element of business transformation to succeed. To put it more simply, you must build a change management element into your IoT implementation.  Most, if not all technology implementations, that fail, do so because they didn’t include a change management process into their transformation efforts. They invest significant money and resources into a technology implementation effort, but fail to inform and engage members outside their teams.

My feeling, based on over 25 years of experience, is many IoT implementations fail because they don’t incorporate their many stakeholders in their IoT implementation strategy. IoT can be transformational in its impact, but only if you handle it the way you would any other change in how you go to market. You must actively engage people across the enterprise in your IoT implementations.  You must build trust into your efforts.  I believe trust is a critical element in IoT implementation success.

I’ll share more on this next week, while I’m in Las Vegas. I have several ideas that will help ensure the success of the transformation of your IoT efforts.

Tomorrow, I share an obstacle to everything we’ve discussed so far. I take on the elephant in the room when I will talk about cyber and data security in the age of the internet of things. See you at Developing Serving Leaders.

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