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Strong leadership is driving IoT adoption

Next year will be an exciting year for the Internet of Things (IoT), writes Joanne Phoenix, interim executive director of Sensor city. It continued to proliferate in multiple sectors and applications, with many high-tech companies and leading research companies that anticipate a general expansion.

It is obvious that it is no longer about itself, but when we will realize a future completely connected through IoT for commercial operations. However, technology is only part of the necessary ingredients for the success of IoT: strong leadership is perhaps the most essential element for companies seeking to adopt IoT.

The challenge for companies is that the evidence points to a possible shortage of a strong IoT leadership capacity: a 2019 Microsoft The study cited the lack of support and attention to leadership as the main cause of the failure of the IoT project. I would suggest that there is still a way to go when it comes to equipping leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to successfully implement IoT.

That said, the success of IoT cannot be achieved with just one person: business leaders must take the entire company on the path of adoption to create success.

Why? Creating acceptance of internal and external teams is crucial to optimize long-term implementation and effectiveness in all parts of the business. To do this, leaders must provide a solid strategy and direction, backed by clear communication.

The challenge for leaders is to ensure that they understand well what IoT is and how to benefit their businesses to provide this address to their teams.

What leaders must do to unlock the full potential of IoT

The understanding of the benefits and implementation of IoT varies greatly from one company to another. This means that there is no coherent trip or experience from which business leaders can take the initiative in creating their own strategy, and without a clear digital strategy, organizations will have difficulty harnessing the full potential of IoT.

It is likely that companies not only spend significant money upfront on IoT, but also spend significant time in a trial and error process to find the right solution. However, with the potential of IoT a great opportunity presents itself: the 2019 Microsoft IoT Signals report says that IoT adopters predict a 30% increase in return on investment (ROI) in two years.

Understanding how IoT benefit your business is essential to create a coherent strategy and guide your organization and teams to the success of IoT. Consider where your business is currently, where it should be and what will have the greatest impact on operations.

You may need to invest in skills or set goals for your IoT investment. To develop this understanding and communicate with confidence the need for IoT, we suggest working on the following checklist. In this way, being equipped with the tools to successfully develop an IoT strategy and bring your team to success.

The leader's checklist for IoT success

Evaluate your current position: Have you started investing in IoT or are you working from scratch? What is working so far? What does not work? What data are you collecting already? What data do you need to collect in the future and why?

Set your objects: Be clear about what you want to get from IoT implementation, from a business perspective. Make sure that IoT aligns with your business plan. Consider what benefits will be brought to the company, its staff or its customers.

Make an informed investment: You need to calculate your possible ROI. Identify your direct and indirect costs and savings, cash flow and initial costs, and minimum income, or "obstacle fee", necessary for your business to be profitable.

Look at all the elements of your digital strategy: Business leaders should consider their current technological infrastructure, assess where there will be skills gaps and where they should adapt to IoT technologies.

Create a technology roadmap: It should address the areas of implementation and where IoT will have the greatest impact. Seek to create a plan on what technology will be implemented, when and how to integrate with existing technology.

Have a communication strategy: The implementation of IoT is not just about a technological change: success also depends largely on cultural change. Communication is key: you are likely to be asked if any team member will have to be re-trained, if it is necessary to replace or recruit skills and / or why the change is needed in the first place.

The author is Joanne Phoenix, interim executive director of Sensor City, a global center for the development of sensor and IoT technologies.

For more guidance on IoT adoption, download The free Sensor City 2020 guide for IoT adoption.

COMING SOON: The last video of IoT Now Quickfire. We interviewed Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye, about why IoT has taken longer to take off than many predicted.

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