TECH TALK: BILL MAGEE
“When the rate of change outside exceeds the rate of change inside, the end is in sight.” – late General Electric chairman/CEO Jack Welch
As we all attempt to adjust to a new future it is absolutely no surprise to me that more than half (55%) of Internet of Things projects currently fail to deliver business value, according to new research.
This report from Cognizant / Forrester is timely, given that IoT is being pushed by the global tech industry as the way forward in the digital evolution of business models.
The researchers surveyed 550 C-level executives, IT executives, directors and managers at companies in the UK, rest of EMEA plus the States with varying revenues and size across the sectors.
The collective uncertainty emerged despite a widespread promise of the enormous benefits IoT can offer, but so far not many projects have advanced beyond the proof-of-concept stage.
The Jack Welch quote highlighted above has been tailored by a few folks in relation to the IoT phenomenon, as follows: “When the pace of change exceeds the rate of human capability to absorb..”
For the uninitiated (and there are lots of us out there) IoT is a catch-all label for the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software and other high tech to connect and exchange with other devices and systems across the internet.
Unfortunately, there are lingering concerns over security and with it, privacy. This hasn’t stopped the IT leviathans spending big bucks in the most unbelievably high levels of marketing hype behind IoT.
The pandemic has created a new form of business chaos and uncertainty., rendering existing mindsets and methodologies “entirely antiquated,” according to nDemand Consulting.
‘Even when the cash has been invested and the team is in place most IoT projects still struggle to realise value’
It’s clear a new mindset is required to successfully implement IoT. The Cognizant report seeks to evaluate common problem areas and identify ways the technology’s adoption can be improved to become more commercially viable and valuable. In some cases IoT can transform an organisation’s operations and boost performance, but actual implementation remains challenging.
So just what goes wrong in the IoT process?
Significant numbers surveyed reveal they have conducted multiple in-house IoT pilots but noted a lack of coherent strategy involved. They reported new IoT capabilities often did not receive the necessary investment or leadership support to extend the initiative across a business Even when the cash has been invested and the team is in place most IoT projects still struggle to realise value.
There are exceptions, but surely this is based on sheer scale where assembly line robotics come to the fore, a world away from the hard-pressed small to medium-sized business searching for tech solutions out of COVID-19.
Manufacturing has displayed most benefits, to date, enabling the sector to unlock previously siloed processes, reduce costs and create smart connected products offering welcome new revenues.
Yes, SMEs can undoubtedly learn from this, but money is tight. The way forward says Randal Kenworthy, Cognizant’s VP of IT and engineering services, is to appreciate that although IoT might claim to lead to commercial improvements in the short term, to get the best from such IoT initiatives, in terms of clear and measurable business benefits, they should be integrated into a long-term strategy.