Oh puleeze, let’s make the Industrial IoT better than this…

The consumer internet of things largely lives in something of a parallel universe to industrial IoT.  Sure, there is going to be overlap in the supporting infrastructure – networks, IoT platforms etc. but the applications are shaping up to be very different.  A big chunk of consumer IoT is focused on wearables – gadgets that we wear that enhance our life in some way, such as fitness trackers or health monitors.  Nevertheless, I was amused to read this article over the weekend.  “The wearable you’ll actually wear, because it doesn’t need charging“.  Wow!  Imagine buying a device that adds so little value that charging it every day actually becomes a chore.  Instead of enhancing your health, it becomes a pain in the <insert body part of your choice>.

I’ll tell you right now, if our first efforts at Industrial IoT are so inept, we’ll kill the opportunity to drive a new wave of efficiency, introduce new business models and revenue streams, stone dead.  For at least 5 years, maybe 10.  Fortunately, it looks like Industrial IoT is fairing better than consumer IoT, with early examples of success from KAESER KOMPRESSOREN SEBP, the trains in Olso, and other examples from the ARC forum in February.  Ralph Rio also writes more about the predictive maintenance opportunity here.

IIoT projects share many similarities with any other IT project.  It’s early days, but so far I have 6 simple guidelines for anyone contemplating an Industrial IoT project:

  1. Start small – your first project is really a proof-of-concept.
  2. Focus on a real, living, breathing, business problem.
  3. Use a multi-disciplinary team – you won’t get very far without one…
  4. Think about what data you have, right now, that you can leverage.  Or, what data can you get, easily…?
  5. Which potential projects promise quick and easy value?  Pick one of those.
  6. Make sure you measure ROI so that you have fuel for future projects.

Motherhood and apple pie in many ways, but important to remember anyway.  What additional guidelines do you have?  Add a comment and share please.

(Originally published on industrial-iot.com, a blog by ARC Advisory Group analysts)

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