Facing an IOT Selection? Now, Use a Framework (Part 2 of 2)

Written By: Keith Garguilo
  • 11/9/2017

This article was written by Keith Gargiulo, Vice President, Customer Success. Keith has been with PTC for over 20 years, and has extensive experience with high-impact technologies that are changing the world of business for our customers.

Having covered the trap of never-ending IOT evaluations and named the approach by which you can avoid the trap, part two of the “Facing an IoT Selection” series will focus on specific steps to take to actually build out the framework for understanding where IOT can provide value for your business.

Executives such as Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon; Peter Diamandis, author and parallel entrepreneur; and Jeff Holden, Chief Product Officer at Uber, have stressed that the success of their business is a direct function of their ability to rapidly experiment with new ideas. If you have accepted the premise that rapid value from IOT depends on having a simple framework that identifies and prioritizes the way to rapid first value, what specifically do you do from here? How do you help your company take the first step and begin experimenting with IOT, ideally running experiments that have the best chance of success?

Business leaders are increasingly able to understand the client and financial benefits of such disruptive concepts as design for connectivity, real-time condition monitoring/control for the factory and field, and connected/remote service. Building a simple IOT value framework starts with the recognition, either on your own or with outside assistance, of whether these or other use cases are examples that hold rapid IOT value in your business. The steps below outline how to take the idea of an IOT value framework from a concept to something that speaks to your business.

Making IoT work for you

  1. Source data comes first. “Single source of truth” is a myth. “Slices of truth” is much closer to reality. A number of core and secondary systems master a part of your product’s definition. IoT should work for your data; not the other way around. Understand what data you need to connect to from the slices of truth in engineering, manufacturing, factory/supply chain, field assets, and the public domain without having to reinvent, migrate, or convert the data.
  2. Context matters. An impactful IoT solution can map source data into role-specific context that helps you visualize, drill down, and float up through information. Consider contexts in design, manufacturing, operations, sales and distribution, and field service. Survey for waste in processes, rework, and time lost searching for data across systems. All of these help you contextualize data into information.
  3. Synthesize for knowledge. Even when provided with context, too much information can overwhelm decision making. Identify where you can apply analysis and simulation within your solutions to enable data-driven decisions. Prioritize the use cases based on how rapidly you can achieve business value. Speed and agility are crucial factors to consider, so plan for analysis needs but recognize that they can also be deferred in favor of achieving more rapid baseline success.
  4. Orchestrate the closed loop. IOT can fundamentally improve your visibility to challenges in engineering, manufacturing, and service, but don’t stop there. Close the loop back to those many slices of truth so the decisions made elsewhere are understood and can be evaluated and incorporated everywhere. Different audiences can reuse existing data in their own context to make decisions you may not have anticipated. Multiply the benefits of your initial use cases by orchestrating the information across all of the corporate and partner/distribution organizations. As with Synthesis, recognize the need to plan for closed loop and the fact that it is a candidate use case that can be successfully delayed until after achieving a more rapid baseline success.
  5. Engage. With different audiences interacting with the information that your IoT platform houses, it’s important to make sure that your solution can rapidly create mashups and experiences in a wide variety of formats to best suit the consumers of the information. The convergence of IOT and Augmented Reality represents an exponential lever on the value you can derive from IOT, so seek solutions that unify the technologies.

Taking these steps to the appropriate level of detail will result in a framework against which you can best evaluate and select the platform or platforms on which you will begin your IOT journey. Moreover, you will have done so with an eye towards rapid first value and at the same time establishing an approach that helps to future-proof your decisions against a rapidly growing technological domain. Taking your focus from a software selection to an internal view of how the data you already own can most rapidly improve your customer’s experience and your own internal efficiency or qualify flips the paradigm on entering the IOT world and prevents you from being trapped in a never ending evaluation cycle, always chasing the next idea, while your competitors are making progress and money with production solutions.

Want to learn more about how to face your IoT technology selections head on? Contact an advisory expert today!

Related Article

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About the Author

Keith Garguilo

Keith is a vice president in PTC’s Customer Success organization. Keith has been with PTC for over 20 years, is a leader in PTC’s innovation community, and has extensive experience defining how high-impact technologies can change the world of business for our customers across verticals and around the globe.