IoT at the Edge
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6 lessons learned in Industrial IoT



By Al Madden
HPE Internet of Things Marketing Strategy

GettyImages-155386817.pngHPE Industrial IoTThe potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) is captivating, especially in industries such as manufacturing, smart energy and utilities. But how many organizations have actually transformed IoT potential into results?

Many companies are beginning to find success with IoT, but not without a few bumps along the way—you might call those “experience”. HPE wanted to take the pulse of machine-to-machine IoT implementers: We surveyed 80 IT professionals with key roles in industrial IoT deployments and asked them what went well, what didn’t, and why.

From their responses, we pulled out the six best practices for quick success—and how to avoid  common pitfalls.

1. Don’t neglect change management

Many organizations reported projects succeeded technically, but ultimately failed because stakeholders weren’t proactively informed. Be sure to disseminate the reasons for the project, as well as the benefits and responsibilities for all stakeholders. This will help avoid surprises and ultimately prevent your implementation from being derailed.

2. Avoid Internets of Things

IoT projects rely on data being shared securely between groups, processes, and people. That means you need one, committed IoT plan. Too often, groups from different regions or functional organizations deploy different projects to address the same problems, but end up being inconsistent with one another.

3. Start small and improve frequently

Since IoT introduces new technologies and concepts, a common mistake is underestimating the resources and the time required. To stay on track, start small, achieve continual and incremental success, and ensure that you have the resources to deliver on your plan.

4. Plan for security, privacy and compliance from the outset

Connecting new things presents new ways “things” can be compromised. If you fail to prepare for security, you can put the organization at risk.

5. Verify the reliability of your data sources

The power of IoT is in data insights. That means you’ll be incorporating new data sources, often from silos that have never been networked before. Organizations must think about how this data gets incorporated and verified.

6. Help old and new coexist (That device is really using Windows 3.2?)

Many survey respondents admitted they struggled to create new IoT solutions that worked with legacy devices and machines. Eliminating legacy components isn’t feasible, so it’s important to realize the need for supporting unfamiliar protocols and OS versions that may no longer be supported—and plan for it. IoT applications will have “wrinkles” that need ironing out.

Getting IoT right

Digitization can be a very powerful tool to dramatically improve efficiency, develop new products, and provide fantastic customer experience. While many things can go wrong with IoT, the rewards are worth the risk. This isn’t just our opinion; our survey respondents shared their success stories as well as their setbacks. Four business benefits of IoT came up over and over again in their responses:

1. Lower CAPEX, higher capacity. The soft-dollar benefits of IoT can be huge, especially in manufacturing, energy, and utilities. Many organizations are replacing CAPEX with pay-per-use for equipment.

2. Proactive maintenance is better than “Oops, it stopped working.” IoT data allows industrial organizations to switch from reactive to proactive maintenance, which reduces downtime and cuts costs.

3. Make customers happier. IoT can empower skilled technical staff to do more remotely, delivering more value and innovative customer service experiences.

4. Optimize asset management. Does anyone really enjoy looking for things? Knowing something’s location is a much better use of time than looking for it. IoT helps organizations coordinate inventory and identify assets—where and when needed.

Ready to get started?

It’s time to move past the hype of IoT implementations and accelerate IoT projects. But you can only do that if you know what to expect. Download our white paper, “Best and Worst of the Internet of Things,” to read first-hand accounts provided by our survey respondents on how they are making IoT work.

Additional resources:

Empowering the Digital Enterprise to be more efficient and innovative through data-driven insights from the Internet of Things (IoT)
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