Lao Tzu, the famous Chinese philosopher, once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” We know you’re not reading this post for Taoist philosophy. But what does this ancient quote have to do with IoT journey or the Internet of Things?
The IoT Journey is very clearly divided into steps. And, while taking the first step launches you onto the IoT cyber-highway, it isn’t a direct line from point A to B. You must be in it for the long haul because it will be a marathon, not a sprint! And, it isn’t for the faint of heart.
Before we go into the steps of the IoT Journey, we will act under the assumption that you understand the basic concepts of IoT. If you need or would like clarification, we have a short video (only 5 minutes!) for a refresher.
First, let’s look at a sobering statistic: 75% of IoT projects fail. OUCH!
The accurate and overwhelming reasoning behind this statistic is that there is a lack of in-house expertise to bring the IoT product or service to market. Unless your company has fully dedicated and experienced IoT software development experts, you will need help in planning and development to bring your IoT ideas to life. Getting the right help early on is important so your IoT Journey doesn’t end before it even has a chance to begin!
The IoT Journey can be divided into four steps or stages. Each stage has unique opportunities, challenges, and approaches to solutions for moving to the next stage. It’s important to identify your goal early on in the journey to avoid costly missteps later. This way, you can avoid becoming part of this shocking statistic.
Although your IoT goal needs to be clearly defined, the path to get there is not direct. Think of it more like a winding country road with a few hills and turns. You still get to the destination, but you will take the scenic route to get there!
Exploring the Stages of the IoT Journey!
Stage 1: Disconnected
In the Disconnected stage, you are becoming aware of how IoT can help solve a business problem you or your customers have. You have no clear idea of what, or how, to make your IoT concept a reality, but you know there is something you can and need to do. But how do you go about it? Where do you begin?
At this stage, it’s important to assess and measure your present circumstances so you can make clear decisions on what you need to successfully launch your concept. Without a plan in place, you will simply be launching an experiment. This can demand a high price of misdirected energies, wasted monetary and physical resources, and even failure.
Partnering with an experienced IoT development partner is critical. You’ll need their expertise to clearly identify strategies and create a concise roadmap to get you across the finish line. Also, you’ll want to invest in educating your team through various training workshops to ensure they have the skills needed for the IoT journey.
Stage 2: Connecting
At this point, you know what you want to do and what your goals are; however everything is still an idea, and no product has been produced. The Connecting stage is an exciting and creative phase that cannot be hurried through or skipped if you want to reach a successful outcome. But because your product is still conceptual, it’s costing you money and not making money! This can be stressful for your entire team, and it’s necessary to get this stage right.
This is where an expert can be helpful. An experienced IoT development partner can help you navigate any pitfalls by doing the following:
- Building a strong IoT foundation by developing a system design that will carry your product from birth through the end of its life cycle.
- Acting in a transparent manner.
- Showing your team how the process and product will work.
- Being explicit about the costs and proper way to manage the product so you are able to plan resources accordingly.
Choosing the proper IoT development partner will ensure that you get your IoT structures right by setting you up for success!
Stage 3: Connected
Congratulations! Your product or service is finalizing, and the launch is either imminent, or a soft launch may have already happened. At the Connected stage, all your efforts and planning turn into reality. This is where you begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor from the Connecting Stage. The IoT world has been introduced to your product, knows what it can do, and is benefiting from your unique ideas and application.
In this stage, you want to implement demos online for beta testing. Your goal should be to integrate early to receive preliminary feedback and prevent any potential issues. Relentlessly test and tweak everything, so your launch is as seamless as possible. This will ensure the product performance is stable, secure, and maintainable.
Stage 4: Accelerating
Your product is out there and making an impact! At this point, you are in the post-launch support phase, as you begin Accelerating. However, you can’t rest on your success! In the world of IoT, if you aren’t moving forward, you are in reverse. While you continue to upgrade and support one product, you need to be considering the next.
Your support team also needs to continuously provide updates to your software, so your products integrate seamlessly with new and ever-evolving technologies. The product roadmap we discussed in the Disconnected Stage should include updating, maintenance, and support strategies, along with considerations for the end-of-life cycle of your IoT product.
You’ve Only Just Begun the IoT Journey
Even though your product has been successfully launched into the world, your marathon IoT Journey has only just begun. As you can see, creating innovative IoT products and business solutions is a recurring cycle of expressed needs, ideas, solutions, and maintenance. But by now, the sprinters are long gone and only the true marathoners remain.
When you took that first step on your IoT Journey, you opened the door to a universe of possibilities. However, getting started isn’t easy. The benefit of having an experienced IoT integration partner guiding you through the stages keeps your team focused, motivated, and energized well into the future.