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Avoiding the Pitfalls: Five Tactics for IoT Program Leaders


By Mark Benson, CTO, Exosite 

So you’re the designated IoT champion, leading the connected-product charge for your organization. You may even have “IoT” in your job title. The burden is on you, and you’re constantly absorbing everything you can about how to successfully execute the digital transformation of your business. Beware, this journey will be rife with roadblocks, both externally and internally.

Many IoT challenges exist due to a lack of industry-wide standards around proven success. Everyone starts from ground zero, and few have crossed the finish line. Based on experience working on IoT-innovation programs across a variety of industries, here are five key considerations regarding where to focus your efforts early on and how to move your company forward as you build, deploy, and launch the next generation of your product.

Understand What the Market (Really) Wants

Any corporate IoT endeavor should start by answering the question, “Why build and market a connected product in the first place?” Too many companies have implemented IoT programs centered on the “how” of their smart-product strategy. It’s no wonder over seventy percent of these initiatives are estimated to fail if they weren’t even certain they were building something of value in the first place.

Understanding your market—and what your customers will pay for—through analysis, research, and testing is a smart way to launch an IoT project. Be open and responsive to feedback and contrarian lines of questioning. Successful enterprises will run quick proof-of-concept tests early on that integrate a variety of technologies to validate feasibility, business-model mechanics, user experience, and data integration. This enables them to learn fast, pivot as needed, and plan a well-executed, long-term strategy before investing too heavily.

Garner Leadership Investment and Approval

Another important question is “Who in your company is necessary to making IoT happen?” The answer, more often than not, is everyone. Your business’s IoT success depends on organization-wide alignment from the start, and executive, top-down sponsorship is crucial to making that happen.

As the IoT torchbearer, a major hurdle will be your ability to gain the needed support and buy-in from your leadership team and decision-making stakeholders. Be prepared to present clear objectives and a comprehensive go-to-market strategy. Work with key executives to create a compelling and actionable vision statement that explains core differentiators for the future of your company.

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