SMRP 07 – IoT Readiness with Kevin Clark
The internet of Things (IoT) is often assumed to be understood by everyone. However, there is somewhat of a disconnect between what we know IoT to be, and actually implementing it especially on larger scale.
Kevin Clark helps us clear the air around IoT and how organizations can prepare themselves to make the most of it.
A few of the highlights touch on:
- Why organisations should bother with IoT today
- How to prepare for IoT implementation
- What makes the biggest difference in implementing successful pilots
Why should you bother with IoT?
In a basic sense, IoT refers to the network of connected devices, people and assets. Today, your mobile phone represents a use case for IoT in that you can have two-way communication with a smart device.
The younger generations (Y and onwards), have the privilege of being born right into technology. This situation means that they are now best placed to accelerate technology, including the influence of IoT
How organizations can get prepared for IIoT
With regards to preparation, organisations of varying sizes and industry types need a slightly different approach to get into Industrial IoT (IoT). However. Even before getting to the implementation phase, it is recommended to undertake a needs assessment.
A good number of organizations often jump the gun and invest in hardware even before having a clear outline of their needs. This move often results in disbelief for IoT projects, as you end up with hardware that gathers dust.
A proper needs assessment can act as a trigger for implementing pilot projects, before scaling. For other entities, the assessment might simply point to a project that gets people more familiar with IoT and its capability.
Steps that you can take to get ready
1.Ensure the Cultural alignment is right
Often a cultural change will lead to a technology change, and not the other way around. Additionally, a cultural change is influenced by people and not by a new process. Because successful implementation will depend on the buy-in of people, you should consider empowering them to support the technology change.
2. Get Organizational support
Getting support across the organization will be a stepping stone towards successful piloting of IoT projects.
3. Carry out a thorough needs assessment
Having a good understanding of your current condition, and where you want to go is important to ensure you don’t scale your implementation wrongly.
Is there a technology need prior to trying IoT?
Again, depending on the organization industry and the reliability processes in place, there might (or might not) be a need to have other technology preparations. A sufficient needs assessment should establish whether the current systems and processes can support IoT. Provisions such as wireless connectivity as examples of the network requirements that would be included in the assessment.
How far should organizations begin in their preparation?
Organizations may have varying timescales while preparing for IoT. If for instance, your organization is implementing its first IoT pilot, you should dedicate enough time to analyze your expectations from the pilot. These expectations can be as simple as a reliable stream of data, or even a local analysis of it.
Who would be involved in the needs assessment?
Because the management structure varies across organizations, it is preferable to define the roles that would take part in the needs assessment. These roles are not limited to Information Technology (IT), Maintenance, Manufacturing, and Quality. There is a subtle consensus that people in IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operations Technology) synchronize that well. With that in mind, it is your responsibility as the IoT champion to enure these two sides bring their contribution to setting a foundation for the pilot.
What makes the biggest difference when it comes to readiness?
After making a clear needs analysis, communication to the various roles makes the biggest difference. The outcomes of an IoT pilot need to be presented in a format that applies to the role being addressed. An example is using monetary terms (instead of only production metrics) when presenting potential savings to executives. Another example would be showing the real time condition of an asset in an animated form so that any anomalies can be easily identified.
One action to implement
You should ‘slow down’ and understand the potential of IoT to your company and industry. This understanding is what will lead to a needs assessment, and finally to running a pilot. The pilot project should start off as a simple and small scale, to facilitate quick execution.
Kevin Clark Links:
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