By 2030, there will be an estimated 25.4 billion IoT devices around the globe.
Crossing the boundaries of industries and types of businesses, the Internet of Things has become an integral part of our everyday lives — so much so that many organizations are eager to tap into the market.
But while the IoT and its associated devices can bring about a number of benefits, sometimes, businesses are so eager to head into the exciting world of IoT that they make mistakes. Fortunately, the most common ones (including the following 8 mistakes) are usually avoidable — as long as you’re on the lookout for them.
1. Failure to Understand IoT’s Business Value
Technology is at its peak. An abundance of organizations is in the midst of digital transformation and overhauls. But not every innovation is necessarily ideal for your particular business.
Before you attempt to embrace IoT and add it to your pipeline, consider the real business value and benefits for your particular organization. You should be able to list tangible advantages the IoT will bring. Think about whether the cost of this type of initiative is worth it in the long run — because these measures are costly. Factor in the amount of time it will take to integrate it, too.
That’s not to say it’s all or nothing. Perhaps you should simply start on a small scale. Just be aware of the IoT’s possibilities and cost as they relate to your business.
2. Trying to Do Too Much at Once
Casting too wide a net isn’t just a mistake businesses make with IoT — it’s something that occurs with many a technological project.
Rather than trying to solve too many challenges or problems with a single product, focus on one unique issue, at least at first. Hone a detailed plan for addressing that issue from every angle. That way, you’ll become the go-to resource for your niche. Once you become an established presence in the market, you can begin to branch out into other areas.
3. Poor Security
The IoT has completely revolutionized our lives, offering convenience, time-savings, and much more. However, some IoT connections and devices lack sufficient security, and this is a problem the developing firm must address, especially considering the amount of sensitive data the IoT generates and has access to.
Some potential issues with IoT implementation include a lack of privacy and cloud-related vulnerabilities. It’s absolutely imperative for organizations to address these and other security concerns through troubleshooting and extensive testing prior to release. Account for security from multiple angles, considering networks, devices, and more. These will mean greater safety for users and businesses alike.
4. Undefined Scope
Modern IoT development is complex. But failing to define the scope of the project can make the process even more intricate.
A project as involved as this one demands specificity. You must pinpoint the problem to address, the resources you need, the particular skills it will take to complete, and other parameters. Narrowing down the scope also involves predicting a range of outcomes. Account for potential hiccups and failures along the way, because they could interfere with the scope of the project, too.
5. Lack of Sufficient Research
The IoT market is an entity, but it encompasses numerous subsections, services, platforms, and devices. It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to develop an IoT product.” It’s critical to do your due diligence to find your niche. Perform market and technical research to determine your place in this broad field. The area you settle on should align with your mission and brand.
Engage specialists to help you hone your vision and find the best corner of the market for you — the one that most makes sense for your business. Be careful not to cast too wide a net, though. The more niche you are, the better your chance of fulfilling an unmet need of your target audience.
6. Not Accounting for Updates
IoT projects aren’t one and done. This technology, like other innovations, requires constant upkeep. It’s a mistake to assume that once you’ve built the product and sent it to market, you’ve completed the project. Whether you’re using IoT devices or creating them, be aware that updates are par for the course.
From the beginning, have a solid plan in place for how you will keep your IoT devices up to date and timely.
7. Improper Skills
Successful IoT conceptualization and implementation require particular technical and soft skills, ones that may not currently exist on your in-house team. Your plan requires the expertise of professionals who are equipped with IoT experience and skill sets that are aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish.
That could very well mean that you’ll need to look outside of your organization, perhaps to an outsourcing firm or freelance team, for help with your IoT projects.
8. Unrealistic Timelines
When you’re developing a complex technological solution, you can’t expect it to happen overnight. It’s important to be realistic about the amount of time and effort IoT initiatives take. If you underestimate this kind of project, you will inevitably be disappointed when the turnaround time is further away than you would like.
Have a frank discussion with your developers about the project timeline. They will be candid about how long it will take and perhaps temper your expectations, such that there are no surprises down the line. In the long run, this is better for you, your team, and your project.
When businesses embrace the IoT, they are tapping into an invaluable resource, one that could transform their business digitally and otherwise. But it’s absolutely imperative for organizations to consider every aspect of the IoT process, hammering out their expectations, thinking about challenges, and otherwise examining prospective projects from every angle. This will limit the potential for mistakes derailing your progress.