New uses and products, technological innovations and also new customer relationships, new economic models… The tidal wave of connected objects is inescapable. How should we deal with this revolution? Although the IoT (Internet of Things) creates growth and value, implementing such a project demands an approach that must be iterative, flexible and collaborative and which immediately takes into account the security requirements.
A new lever for growth and for creating value
The tidal wave of connected objects (IoT – Internet of Things) is inescapable. The convergence of new technologies and methods reaching maturity, such as miniaturization, design processes, the cloud, mobile solutions and data enhancement, actually enables connected objects to be activated as close as possible to the actual process in order to create a direct link between the user (customer or employee) or the process and IS.
Companies then find in the IoT new levers for growth, cost reduction and ways of offering services with added value to their customers. The IoT therefore creates value, both by means of the data generated and exploited and by the possibility of directly influencing the user’s environment or process.
We should focus on the end user (customer or employee) and the process, and systematically think in terms of the user’s context in the discussions conducted.
Similarly, the IoT teams should have access to technical advice in order to make sustainable technological choices in the face of the existing abundance of solutions.
Adopt an iterative process
The approach must be pragmatic to ensure that business needs are met and that costs and ROI are managed.
Successive iterations enable teams to focus on a common solution by quickly adjusting the functional or technical scope in order to offer the service and its successive evolutions so that time to market is reduced.
This also makes it possible to offer a relevant and sustainable service for the end user or process, which is proof of high-quality use. And finally, the business model can be managed, which is one of the key factors to success for industrialisation and deployment of the object.
Adopt a collaborative process
Several fields of expertise are involved in a project: the approach will therefore be multidisciplinary.
During each iterative phase, stakeholders should work together to focus as efficiently as possible on correct implementation: electronics, design, electromechanics, on-board computing, business, sensors and components, mobility, data enhancement, etc.
The associated support is an integral part of the concept: change management, training, deployment roadmap, maintenance, etc., are all initiated during these construction phases, and will be the guarantee of controlled deployment.
Early recognition of project-related security concerns
As much consideration should be given to data security (confidentiality and protection against piracy), as to the physical security of objects (industrialisation, certification), and the legal security concerning intellectual property and patent registration.
Designing a flexible solution
The adaptability of the solution is necessary to offer new services to demanding consumers. This flexibility offers the ability to adapt quickly to potential changes made to the business model. And flexibility to adapt the processes to the organisational and regulatory changes.
Knowing how to initiate reinvention from a blank slate
Finally, here perhaps more than anywhere, a “leader” is needed in order to coordinate, anticipate and ensure that the route taken is heading towards the objectives set. In particular, it may be advisable to completely rethink the service proposed and the associated economic model.
This may mean starting from a blank slate to initiate reinvention… this requires detachment, and often the use of company outsiders to cover the field of possibilities; an approach which contains the ingredients for change management.
Iteration and collaboration to respond to the company’s strategic needs
This seems obvious but this idea must be fixed firmly in the minds of the teams responsible for IoT projects to avoid approaches that are purely technophilic or “too” disruptive: it is essential to consider usage as a practical response to strategic needs.
Benefits of B2B
With B2B, the benefits will result in real-time knowledge of the state of the process, process optimisation thanks to new information, cost reduction, as well as new preventive and predictive warning, security and maintenance capabilities.
Benefits of B2C
As regards B2C benefits, these will include better knowledge of the customer, greater personalisation, sustainable and evolving services, and direct exchange with the customer’s environment.
Key factors to success
Don’t hesitate to launch your IoT project on the basis of the following points:
- An approach focussed on the end user
- Iterative and collaborative processes
- The construction of a solid business model
Guillaume Roy & Emmanuel Gadenne
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- Connected objects: How to make an IoT project successful? - 13 September 2016