5 Key Drivers for a Successful Industrial IoT (IIoT) Implementation


According to a recent Forrester survey, 45% of Industrial products lead all industries have adopted IoT with an additional 22% planning to adopt IoT in the next 12 months. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market is predicted to reach $123B in 2021, attaining a CAGR of 7.3% through 2020. In another study by Cisco, it polled 1,845 business decision-makers from the manufacturing, government and energy sectors, and found just 26 percent of companies regard their IoT initiatives as successes.

Although there is a great adoption of IIoT in the industry, the count of failed IIoT projects is a huge concern due to many IIoT Implementation challenges. There may be several reasons for the failures and as for any emerging technology, IoT may face this challenge on its travel to maturity. We at Altizon have worked on over 270 IIoT projects with over 100 enterprises in their digital transformation journey. In this context, it may be worthwhile to examine why IoT Implementation fails and what are the key drivers for a successful IIoT Implementation.

1. Management Buy-in

In most of the manufacturing industry, there are IT leaders and Business leaders. For IIoT Implementation, you need buy-in from both Business and IT leaders. IIoT Implementation touches multiple areas within the organization like machines, OT-systems, the backend IT systems, shopfloor workforce, management staff, and organization leaders from various departments. For a successful IoT Implementation, you need support and collaboration from various department. Importantly, IIoT Implementation RoI may be evaluated differently by IT vs Business. Hence, it’s super critical to have both business and IT management buy-in.

2. Clarity in Expectations

Cisco study has revealed that 1 out of 3 projects were an outright failure. Many IIoT Implementations are stamped as failed at the pilot stage as they fail to meet management expectations on results or RoI. This happens because of expectations mismatch. Ideally, business needs should be the driver for the technology changes, and not vice-a-versa. However, many times leaders get excited due to the technology hype cycle and would like to ride the wave to be seen as the front-runner change agents or want to highlight their unit’s progressiveness. They tend to take on new projects without adequately studying the feasibility and viability aspects. In such a situation, key stakeholders are mostly on different plains with a different expectation of outcome in their mind. As things progress, the differences in expectations start impacting project outcome profoundly. 

Download top industrial use cases for successful IIoT project.. Read More

IIoT is a newer technology and expecting miraculous results from a small (Pilot) investment may not be logical. One has to understand that doing IoT in silos or at a small scale may not lead to desired gains. However, let’s understand no grand rollout will happen without building confidence at a small scale (pilot). in order to make your pilot successful, it’s important to choose the right use case where results of change could be clearly visible. For example, if a unit claims to have OEE at around 90%, and IoT project delivering 93% OEE may not be a great achievement given the efforts and cost involved. However, if such project reveals that the true OEE is not even 70%, and helps an organization identify the root cause for such a low OEE and put together improvement measures, then it would be considered a great RoI. Always, choose the highest painful area or where results could be evident.

3. Putting the Right Framework

The IIoT project value chain is long and complex. There are interdependencies. Hence, everything has to work as a well-oiled engine in order for Implementation of IIoT to be successful. For this, its vital to put together a right framework that’s easy to operate and scale from one line to multiple lines, function units, or event multiple plants. Choosing the right platform is important that has enterprise-grade security and scalability. At Altizon, we recommend DMAC led IoT methodology. Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control – This process gives tremendous control over all the phases of the project.

Related Blog – You’re probably doing your IIoT implementation wrong. Read more

4. Ecosystem Orchestration

As noted earlier, the Industrial IoT Implementation value chain is long and complicated. Several parties and teams are involved in making the change happen such as hardware partners, system integrators, platform providers, technology players, maintenance teams, etc. Seamless collaboration and constant communication are vital for smooth execution. Thus, the orchestration of all the parties involved is a key task. Vendors or solution providers have to be flexible and agile with organization culture, technological readiness, and management expectations. Sametime, there must be an internal champion who could help orchestrate these multiple parties involved.

5. Culture Fit

As with any new technology, there is a resistance within organizations people in adopting IIoT technology. The key aspect of IIoT is it becomes a single source of truth. The decisions are supported by data. People get more data-oriented and can predict things. But at the same time, it unearths unwanted many hidden aspects of security loopholes, management planning, and forecasting problems, workers behavioral issues, underutilized resources, blotted numbers and so on. Hence, while adopting the IIoT powered digital transformation, its not merely a technology change but its a cultural change too! And organizations have to acknowledge this and be in the right frame of mind and make necessary changes.

IIoT is a big technological change for organizations. Management has to be ready for internal and external resistance. For a successful new technology adoption at a grand scale, organizations have to create a roadmap, have to have a top-down approach, clear expectations, and a long term commitment.

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