Businesses frequently have to develop strategies around things that aren’t exactly ubiquitous yet—such as the Internet of Things (IoT). While corporations and users have a pretty good idea of what the IoT entails, actual IoT products are still scarce and IoT platforms still under development.
Nevertheless, IDC reports that 56 percent of manufacturers in the United States are researching or piloting IoT for business benefits such as lowering operational costs, improving customer service and support, acquiring new customers, and increasing business process efficiencies. IDC asserts that manufacturers need to move forward with pilots and simultaneously develop an IoT foundation and roadmap.
IoT is an essential innovation accelerator for manufacturers, according to IDC. By implementing an IoT foundation, manufacturers have the opportunity to increase their real-time visibility into their own operations as well as into their customers' operations; from the analysis of that information, manufacturers can develop the insights they need to change how they generate revenue and profit, whether that's through more data-driven execution or new products and services.
IDC has developed a PlanScape, The IoT Foundation for Connected Products, Assets and Supply Chains in Manufacturing, that offers practical guidance for manufacturers on IoT investment. “Developing a roadmap for IoT and an IoT foundation will ensure that the investments satisfy manufacturers IT and business expectations,” said IDC Manufacturing Insights Practice Director Kimberly Knickle in a release. “IT organizations can and should play an important role in an efficient and agile rollout of IoT across the various use cases in manufacturing."“Developing a roadmap for IoT and an IoT foundation will ensure that the investments satisfy manufacturers IT and business expectations. IT organizations can and should play an important role in an efficient and agile rollout of IoT across the various use cases in manufacturing.”
To help manufacturers employ the best approach to IoT and the IoT foundation for their business, IDC offers the following guidance:
- Identify Goals
- Take Inventory
- Set Priorities
- Educate and Engage Key Stakeholders
- Test Pilot
IDC asserts that it is absolutely critical for manufacturers to take an iterative view of their investments in IoT. There are immediate benefits that can be achieved by investing today, but manufacturers should also recognize that the market is still evolving and changing. Manufacturers must consider IoT an investment that requires frequent monitoring and modification.
"We expect manufacturers to eventually weave IoT into many of their products and processes,” added Knickle. “Today, manufacturers should invest in providing the business with access to IoT technology elements they need to drive experimentation and increasing adoption. Sharing tools and technologies across the business will allow the investments and best practices to be shared more easily across departments and requirements."