Learn how to Not manage IoT projects: 7 common pitfalls with IoT projects
Many Internet of Things projects fail to live up to their potential. Here’s why.
- Insufficient Investment in Project Management –
One of the most common reasons that IoT projects fail is that companies fail to focus on the soft side of the projects, says Tripp Braden, executive recruiter at Strategic Performance Partners.”Many companies put a lot of money into the technology and the people directly working on it, but skimp when it comes to project management. “I consistently see a lot of failure as a result of lack of leadership,” Braden says. The people who are in charge of IoT projects tend to have solid technical backgrounds, but minimal experience in project management. They often aren’t used to working with multiple stakeholders, which IoT projects demand. Read More
- Failure to Get Buy-In Across the Organization –
It is rare for an IoT project to inspire enthusiasm throughout an entire organization. But that is what is needed for success, said David Graham, deputy chief operating officer of San Diego last week at Smart Cities Week in Washington D.C. Read More
- Not Being Able to Update or Replace IoT Components –
The Internet of Things is an exceptionally dynamic market. Everything is in flux: standards, the vendor landscape, the current offering of IoT platforms, the technology used to connect devices. Read More
- Underestimating Vendor Risk –
There has been an explosion of IoT-focused companies in recent years. There is bound to be a Darwinian thinning of the herd. “It’s a sad fact that in a lot of software markets, most vendors end up failing in the long term,” says Nick Jones of Gartner. If the IoT market follows a similar trajectory, there will be vicious consolidation. “Many of the vendors won’t be around in five to ten years’ time – the lifespan of the things that you are building,” Jones predicts. Count on substantial changes in the form of acquisitions, pivots, and so forth.
- Not Having a Plan B or an Exit Strategy –
Because the Internet of Things market will likely be volatile for the foreseeable future, companies active in this space should have a backup plan and a way to walk away from a vendor or technology if needed. “It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan, but it should be enough to convince yourself that an exit plan of some sort exists,” Jones notes. For instance, if you are forced to replace a vendor or if a key vendor is acquired, it should be an inconvenience rather than a disaster. Companies that feel compelled to make a decision with no concrete exit plan should be exceptionally careful.
- Downplaying Security and Privacy Threats –
Risk assessment should be a full-time job. By now, everyone should be aware of the sorry state of IoT security, but, each week, there seems to be a new headline about a major IoT-related security or privacy breach. IoT developers should factor the value of data, the criticality of a particular function, and the scalability of failure to determine risk, recommends James Andrew Lewis in a report titled “Managing Risk for the Internet of Things” from Center for Strategic & International Studies. Limiting device autonomy or making it possible to override cuts down risk. Lewis also notes, however, that devices that are partially automated can have a unique risk as the handover between humans and machines can be problematic, as is the case with airplane autopilots. From a security perspective, companies should make sure that all of the basic protections such as single-factor authentication and encryption are in place.
- Focusing on Technology over Business –
Many IoT projects are technological solutions looking for a problem to solve. As a result, few of them generate revenue. Less than one-quarter of companies are making money from the IoT in 2016, according to CompTIA. Several surveys also reveal that building a business case for IoT technologies remains an important struggle. LNS Research has noticed this theme in their research and counsels companies to avoid launching an enterprise-wide IoT mega-project without clear objectives or financial benefits. Similarly, French market research firm Capgemini Consultancy reports that few companies with IoT projects generate service revenue. Even prominent IoT projects sometimes fail to deliver an ROI. Consider, for instance, Nest, which Google acquired for $3.2 billion in 2014. Last year, the Google division brought in only $340 million in revenue.
IOT Trends and Analysis – go to www.ioti.com
This article was written by Brian Buntz for the Internet of Things Institute.