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How to get the most out of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Reaping its potential calls for thorough planning

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No question: the market for the IIoT is set to take off. Some projections1 suggest that, globally, IIoT investments will reach $8.9 trillion in 2020, up from $2.99 trillion in 2014. That’s a 19.92% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

What’s more, IIoT spending in manufacturing will likely hit $890 billion in 2020, nearly double what manufacturing companies were spending on IIoT investments four years ago.

Analysts have noted that major multibillion corporations are investing in IIoT in a big way, and hoping to see immediate results. Yet a substantial number of IIoT projects are failing. In this paper, we’ll explore why that happens.

But first, let’s review some survey data from Cisco.

  • 60% of IIoT initiatives stall at the proof of concept (PoC) or pilot stage
  • Only 26% of companies describe their IIoT deployments and initiatives as successful
  • While 35% of IT executives say their IIoT projects were completely successful, only 15% of other business executives agree, suggesting a serious perception gap

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What can we conclude from this? I would argue that although many competent people are trying hard to get the most out of IIoT projects, they may be launching them before they have a fundamental understanding of what they want to accomplish. Before they begin, they should be asking themselves:

  • Can we validate why IIoT projects are failing?
  • Why have significant returns on investment (ROI) failed to materialize?
  • Have we aligned our strategy and approach to the business impact we want to achieve?
  • Have all relevant stakeholders bought in to the project – and have they participated?

Among the validations organizations must perform up front is an assessment of why they’re undertaking the IIoT project in the first place (see Figure 1). Feeling forced to invest for fear their competitors will leave them behind isn’t reason enough.

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