7 Myths Ruining the Industrial IoT for Enterprises

In User Research by Rachel Nitschke

As more and more connected devices begin to leverage their own data in communicating with the people who operate them, the new way of doing business is quickly taking shape. And it’s shape is defined by the Industrial Internet of Things.

Some enterprises are holding back from making serious investments in transforming their operations with IoT integrations, however, based on false assumptions. Over the next two to five years, that behavior could cost their bottom lines millions and wreak havoc on their market share. Others are devoting resources to these projects, but using their old tried-and-true playbook with new technology. The IIoT needs a new playbook.

The Seven Myths That Doom IIoT-Enabled Products

  1. The Internet of Things will not have interoperability. While true for the short term, this statement is false for the long term. As this technology evolves, the standards-making bodies are trying to keep up with the standards that manufacturers and technology vendors need. The good news is that those standards bodies are in place and the path toward interoperability standards for the billions of connected devices of the IoT is in place.
  2. User experience does not matter for internal applications. Here at ChaiOne, we confront this myth all the time. Because employers can mandate behavior of employees, they make the conclusion that they can cut corners on the design of the application and then make the work process fit around it. Time and time again, this has proven to lead to a failed project. Investing in user experience up front is one-ten thousandth of the cost of having to make requirements corrections after launch, according to NASA.
  3. The most effective deployment of IoT-enabled products are obvious. This goes hand-in-hand with the above statement. When evaluating where to devote the budget for these technologies, the management team often jumps to the wrong conclusions because most have risen through the ranks in their department, rather than coming from field work.
  4. Deploying and developing IIoT-enabled products is just like any other technology. The Industrial Internet of Things relies on the convergence of marketing (for internal launch), operations and process owners, IT leaders, business leaders, and on-the-ground workers to truly make an impact. Ignoring any of the key stakeholders with your technology will lead to an unsuccessful rollout and low adoption.
  5. Security and safety are too big of hurdles to overcome for large enterprises. Security is a major concern for the IIoT, as many devices who are not “faceless” (not requiring the user to enter a login) and their limited computing power leaves investments in the IoT so vulnerable to attacks that they are not worth it. However, security protocols can be put in place to mitigate these risks, as long as companies rethink their information security strategy. 
  6. UX and design agencies have cracked the code on what works for IoT-enabled products. Yes, there are best practices, but the most successful Internet of Things applications will be the ones that merge seamlessly with the user. Because these products are driven so completely by users and their needs, it’s important that the process for creating them starts first with eliminating assumptions about users.
  7. Develop the product and the users will come. It’s not enough to make a great IoT product. You also need to develop a strategy for promoting and launching the app, even for internal applications. The product owner needs to have a change management strategy for employees and customers to make any behavior changes as seamless as possible. Think about retailers’ transition to the “chip cards” this year. How frustrating is to now wait the extra minute and a half for the transaction to process? It adds a degree of frustration for the consumer, who sees the ability to swipe on the same machine and starts to wonder why the retailer did this in the first place. What if the cashier had you start the chip card process as the last few items were being bagged? Or perhaps was coached with some important talking points on upcoming coupons? These are the small changes that make big differences for the experience of a new process.

Bottom line: The IoT is here to stay, but not all of the companies who capitalize on its potential are. Make sure these myths aren’t keeping you from ROI.

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