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Success with the Internet of Things Requires More Than Chasing the Cool Factor

August 07, 2017

Many companies begin an internet of things (IoT) journey with great expectations, only to end up with disappointing business results. Gartner recently estimated that through 2018 “80% of IoT implementations will squander transformational opportunities” and fail to monetize IoT data. And a new survey by Cisco found that one-third of all completed IoT projects were not considered a success. In my experience with dozens of organizations implementing IoT solutions, those that achieved their expected ROI changed their traditional business approaches in one or more of the following ways:

They Developed a Partner Ecosystem

The essence of IoT is interconnectivity. Interconnectivity is about more than the connections between devices — it is about the connections between customers, partners, and suppliers.

Accordingly, IoT is driving a shift in business structures from a one-company-does-it-all model to a let’s-work-together approach. This means that companies must leave behind traditional models of proprietary systems, rigid processes, and reliance on a few longtime partners and move toward models that embrace open and flexible structures in which partners can solve business problems together. This collaborative approach is no longer optional: No single company, deploying only its own products or services, can capture IoT’s value by itself, and certainly not with the speed required in today’s digital market.

Companies deploying IoT successfully in industrial sectors such as manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, and transportation are seeking multiple agile partners with open IP architectures to co-create solutions. This approach lets organizations aggregate best-of-breed technologies to develop cost-effective solutions that advance their goals.

For instance, Goldcorp, the global mining company, recently partnered with Accenture to help knit together an ecosystem of large and small IoT suppliers to co-develop a connected mine in Cerro Negro, Nicaragua. With data analytics provided by Microsoft Azure and an informational infrastructure developed collaboratively by Industrial Scientific and Cisco, operators now have a dashboard to remotely monitor the people, equipment, and air quality in the mine in real time.

In another example, the employee safety solution deployed by Marathon Petroleum with its integration partner keeps track of workers’ locations and automatically broadcasts safety alerts by combining data from Wi-Fi, wearable gas detectors, motion sensors, wireless networks, and real-time location systems – all sourced from different suppliers.

Read more here.