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Shhsh don't mention IoT

As 8 out of 10 IoT projects fail even before they launch

Shhh IoT

There’s been a lot of buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT) for quite some time now.

Advancements in sensor and network technologies have fuelled visions of an interconnected world of devices that would power smart cities, smart factories and smart homes.

Indeed, this game-changing technology is enabling some organisations to initiate intelligent workplaces where heating and light is efficiently calibrated to occupant needs.

Meanwhile, transport authorities in the UK are pioneering the use of IoT platforms to deliver enhanced real-time passenger services and respond operationally ‘in the moment’ to fluctuating demand at terminals and stations.

For others, the opportunities lie in creating after-market services for consumers and business customers that will change the rules of engagement when it comes to proactively delivering products or support based on data-driven predictors of demand.

But all too often, IoT projects go wrong or struggle to get off the starting blocks. Indeed, according to the research analyst Gartner, 8 out of 10 IoT projects fail even before they launch.

Let’s take a look at just some of the areas where things can go amiss.

1.  The Connectivity Challenge

Wireless connectivity is a complex field. IoT devices will need to work reliably in any environment and the seamless flow of data enabled between devices, the cloud and applications.

Added to which, not all IoT sensors or devices are created equal. Low battery life, poor transmission range, or capacity and bandwidth restrictions will impact everything from the real-time transmission and processing of data to delivery.

2.  The Compatibility and Integration Challenge

IoT devices need to integrate with applications, processes and platforms if organisations are to successfully ingest and do something meaningful with the real-world data they capture.

In recent years big vendors like Amazon, Google and Microsoft have established themselves with a range of offerings in IoT market. Problem is that each operates its own IoT infrastructure, protocols and interfaces, which in turn creates additional headaches when trying to get solutions to work seamlessly together.

3.  The Security and Data Privacy Challenge

Newspapers have been quick to publish scare stories about the take-over of unsecured IoT devices like baby monitors for nefarious means. However, the grim reality is that IoT devices must be appropriately secured and constantly updated to ensure that data storage and transfer is protected today – and into the future.

Organisations planning to deploy IoT at scale will need to secure individual devices from cyber-attack and ensure these don’t become a conduit for conducting malware attacks on their enterprise networks. The bigger the planned IoT deployment, the more complex and demanding this challenge becomes.

Depending on the use case, care and consideration will also need to be given to how protocols that preserve user privacy and data protection are designed and implemented.

4.  The Device Deployment and Management Challenge

Having successfully conducted an initial proof-of-concept pilot project, many firms find that taking the next step and rolling-out at scale becomes a major stumbling block.

The sheer logistics involved in purchasing, commissioning, installing and initiating hundreds upon hundreds of devices in the field can prove a daunting task.

But it doesn’t end there. Once operational, all these devices will need to be monitored and managed 24×7. That includes ensuring that software and firmware updates are rolled out in a timely way – and that resources are in place to instantly troubleshoot any device or network errors.

5. The Data Intelligence Challenge

Real world data opens the door to new insights and intelligence that can make a world of difference to the operational performance and customer responsiveness of organisations.

But almost half of IoT project leaders report encountering major difficulties in capturing and ingesting all this data. Meanwhile, many found they didn’t have the right data analytics capabilities in place to handle the sea of unstructured being data generated.

Worryingly, the ability to convert data into insights and insights into actions will be crucial for any organisations looking to achieve measurable ROI from their IoT projects.

A strategy for success

Organisations that are able to resolve the challenges associated with adoption, growth and day-to-day administration of their IoT environments will be able to open the door to new markets. Or achieve significant operational and customer service gains that position them for success.

The good news is that with the right skills, end-to-end architecture, security tools and implementation strategy it’s possible to build a strong IoT foundation that delivers as promised. Paving the way for future initiatives and IoT use cases that will drive further business value.