Why Factories Should Integrate the Culture of IoT

Why Factories Should Integrate the Culture of IoT
Kitmondo 21 Nov 2019

It is projected that of all the technologies currently emerging, the Internet of Things (IoT) will have the biggest impact on the industrial economy. It is forecast that by 2022, corporate profits will be boosted by 21% and for 2025, the IoT will generate up to $11 trillion in annual savings and revenues. The IoT is also heralded as the technology that will result in breakthroughs in robotics, artificial intelligence and other applicable advances. 

Due to the massive hype surrounding IoT, decision-makers charged with implementing IoT in their company often find it nearly impossible to separate the hype from reality. This could make it extremely difficult to determine which practical steps should be taken to build this reality.

In this article, we’ll look at what companies already reaping the benefits of IoT have done to implement IoT successfully.

Read more about the company that came up with a IIOT device to monitor sound of machines:

IoT implementation challenges

Technology adoption always has many challenges, and IoT is no exception. When designing and building IoT capabilities, companies struggle with everything from having the right talent in place to integrating different data sets. Cybersecurity also remains both a challenge and a concern.

Although the IoT is fast becoming operational, it is still in a period of experimentation, and companies generally understand there are unknown obstacles they will have to solve. Many companies overcome these by adopting a fail-fast approach in which they learn from mistakes quickly and then move on.

Despite the initial challenges, companies are succeeding with IoT with 42% of companies saying their IoT programs are doing what they are aiming for — earning new revenues, making the company more efficient, or saving money.

It should be remembered that the IoT is a business solution that is only a few years old. Although companies are still learning what works and what doesn’t, it’s clear is that the IoT is rapidly transforming from being a theory to reality.

Structuring early IoT initiatives

When new technologies were adopted in the past, companies often used small teams that worked in isolation determining how to design and implement the best solution. This does however not seem to be the road to success in IoT.

The Internet of Things is a lot more than simply another IT program. Companies that have implemented it successfully have collaborated across a broad part of the organization, reached across silos and transformed the old businesses. This needs strong support from top management and ultimately, the culture of IoT needs to be integrated across all aspects of the business.

The IoT is an integration/operations/business/ project and should be treated as such. Successful IoT programs are enterprise led and not isolated projects.

IoT with its flexibility allows companies to experiment

There is also a strong learning curve to the IoT. Successful companies at first tend to experiment a lot. The IoT is highly flexible and that allows organizations to test different models easily and then apply what they learned to bigger projects.

Although most successful companies follow an overall enterprise strategy, they first purposefully pursue smaller initiatives (operational testing, demonstrations and pilot projects,) thereby developing a technology base and expertise for bigger initiatives.

The flexibility of the IoT allows building from a small base, thus keeping costs down and managing risk.

Both small and large IoT projects should be undertaken with a bigger vision and objective in mind. Although it should be made to work at the tactical level, there should always be a strategic objective.

Read more about the company that came up with a IIOT device to monitor sound of machines:

Organizing the IoT team

The IoT needs a fine degree of tactical execution together with enterprise-wide governance. Companies that have successfully implemented the IoT manage these dual objectives by using a hybrid structure.

The IoT is likely to disrupt old ways of working and systems. It challenges old business models, calls for new types of workers and requires a healthy budget. Changes in the technology architecture are required at the same time, as it must be kept secure, integrate data from disparate sources and bridge legacy systems. This combined effort demands that a C-level executive drive all IoT initiatives.

Successful companies most often have a chief information officer whose role is to be the central authority and champion of the IoT.

CIOs combine the technology expertise and the stature that can drive this complex initiative forward, thereby becoming natural champions of the Internet of Things.

CIOs' support in IoT implementing

CIOs however often have severe time constraints and can’t be expected to manage the development of all IoT projects. Successful companies overcome this by appointing a chief technology officer to manage the team. In nearly all companies, the management of the IoT program is housed within the broader IT function.

In less successful companies, the IoT program is either managed by small teams or no specific person has day-to-day authority. As successful companies hardly ever use this approach, it indicates that enterprise-level direction is a precondition for IoT to be successful.

IoT across the whole company

As a company’s IoT program is diverse and is likely to bridge lines of business, product development, manufacturing, and other non-IT functions, a diverse set of skills is required in the team that has to build out the Internet of Things capability.

Companies recognize that the IoT is cross-functional and it should not be confined to silos. To make the IoT work, strong support from C-suite executives is required, while the culture of IoT should also be fully integrated across the organization.

Although the CIO (or CTO) is a prominent member of the IoT development team in successful companies, these organizations also extend responsibility to experts from product design, cybersecurity and the lines of business, thereby making their initiatives more successful.

A diverse solution ultimately demands a diverse set of contributors.

Integrate the culture of IoT across the organization

IoT’s rapid expansion and early traction have established it as a competitive reality in the market, and not getting involved should not be an option. Companies need to move quickly to implement an IoT strategy, or risk being disrupted or falling behind.

The IoT is not a small, stand-alone project, but should be seen as a business/operations/integration project. Companies need to plan for that by getting strong support from the C-suite and integrating the culture of IoT across the organization.

Kitmondo has partnered with Neuron Soundware to offer AI-powered audio device able to identify machines with mechanical issues: