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Overcoming IoT Project Challenges

Overcoming IoT Project Challenges

Companies across the globe are engaging in the digital transformation process and utilising the Internet of Things technology as they believe it will become the backbone of the future customer value. Indeed, the benefits are breathtaking. All value chains are becoming disrupted: healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, automotive industry, retail, energy management, and more.

Despite this, a recent survey of business and IT leaders, conducted by Cisco*, found that nearly 34 IoT projects aren’t successful, whether they stall at the Proof of Concept (PoC) stage or they fail after being completed. These results aren’t surprising given the immaturity of the IoT solutions and evolving technology standards. However, for many of these companies, the problem doesn’t lie in technology, but rather in company’s culture, expertise and structure.

In this post, we are highlighting some of the leading challenges for the struggles organisations have with getting the Internet of Things projects off the ground.

Trying to do all in-house

Digital transformation will likely fail if executed entirely within the organisation. Although it may look easy on paper, there is a wide array of capabilities and expertise required to build a truly secure and scalable IoT solution, so companies must ask themselves if developing it all in-house is the best path. The cost and time associated with building and maintaining all the pieces of the IoT solution in-house, which aren’t adding any differentiation to products or services, are substantial. Also, unless companies have already done several IoT implementations on a large scale, they may not figure out all the potential pitfalls in time to avoid them. Building partnerships with different IoT vendors will enable companies to add various capabilities which are required for the success of the digital transformation process. The right partner can offer support team throughout different phases of a project; from strategic planning to industrial network engineering, software or hardware design, and data analytics. By relying on a proven partner, a company is able to remove all barriers during the execution stages.

Executing the whole process at once

Too often companies try to transform the entire business at once. Successful IoT initiatives start on a small scale, with one business unit or area (for example, the one with the highest energy consumption). By starting on a small scale, companies can gain valuable experience and use that knowledge to extend the level of deployment.

Not addressing the security risks

Connecting devices and creating value from collected data can open up new security risks. As attack surface is expanded, it is necessary to evaluate potential risks carefully. In this phase, a reliable partner can help operation and IT departments to successfully address and prioritise those risks.

Lack of collaboration between IT and business departments

Digital transformation is, by definition, holistic and demands integration and cooperation, so part of the strategy is overcoming barriers and building new bridges to address these challenges. All the affected teams must partner early in the planning process to get the needed requirements, gain support (budget, knowledge and resources) and leverage influence to remove barriers during the execution stages. This especially applies to IT and business departments, since they speak different languages and see things through different lens. On the one hand, there is no successful IoT project without strong business cases, strategy, processes and milestones. IT executives, on the other hand, are more focused on technology, expertise and vendors.

The wrong person leading the change

Digital transformation is everywhere on the agendas of corporate boards and is initiated and propelled by the CEOs. This is something completely new. Before the digital transformation era, new technologies were introduced to the industry through the IT organisation. As adoption cycle has inverted, the risk now is that many CEOs seem to be asleep at the need for change. There are those who, because of digital threats, don’t see the massive disruption quickly headed their way or they don’t see the immediate benefits of using the IoT solutions. On the other hand, there are business executives who are just experimenting here and there with the IoT. But that is not enough. Digital transformation is not a matter of competitive advantage; it is existential. Many enterprises that fail to transform themselves will likely disappear, and the lack of interest from the CEOs is what undermines this process.

In the light of these findings, it seems that one way to ensure that your IoT implementation is a success is through building partnerships. The need for partnerships in the IoT is as prevalent as ever, and more and more companies have concluded that cooperation is the way forward. Companies that are using both internal and external IoT expertise are more likely to build successful IoT application, as there is no vendor capable of implementing the whole IoT project alone.

WolkAbout is committed to helping partners enter the world of the IoT and gain the experience needed to overcome obstacles to implementing a successful IoT solution. When companies decide to engage in the process of digital transformation, instead of executing the whole process at once, they can prevent the failure by taking a gradual ramp-up approach with a free instance of WolkAbout IoT Platform. This way, they can test project on a small scale, adopt knowledge and make changes before proceeding to a full-scale deployment. Furthermore, WolkAbout’s business team helps in developing the relevant use cases for different industries, while our developer team offers a full transparency with documented connectivity and web APIs, available open source libraries, SDKs and code examples. In the end, WolkAbout IoT Platform addresses security issues by using authentication at both the user and the device level, encryption of the data in transit and the data at rest, and TLS protocol to secure communication. This way, WolkAbout IoT Platform delivers scalable, secure, authenticated and encrypted connections across layers of the IoT stack.

Contact us at to find out more about the possibilities to digitise your business and build a long-term partnership with WolkAbout.


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Source: Connected Futures Cisco Research: IoT Value: Challenges, Breakthroughs, and Best Practices, May 2017