With this post I decided to cover the failures of IoT projects – inspiration for the post came when I stumbled on a list of failed IoT companies.

According to Cisco’s survey nearly 75% of IoT projects fail – I believe the main reason why this figure is so high lies in the fact that at this moment IoT is still overhyped and almost everybody is trying to do something and get a chunk of that big opportunity. Anyhow, this number definitely should warn us that we have to be very realistic in self assessment but also in favor of Fortune goddess to succeed at this moment. Survey defined the following top reasons for failure: long completion time, poor quality of collected data, lack of internal experience, IoT integration and budget overruns.

Potential of IoT applications are endless, so it’s pretty easy to brainstorm a bunch of new ideas. This is the easiest part, now you have to select one or two idea and pursuit them. In that selection process you need to take a look from the perspective of your potential customers and this means that you can’t select the ones that are “technology for technology’s sake” because your customers expect that you’ll bring solutions for the problems they have.

Another important thing that you need to be aware is that you are in a race, world of today is hyper-connected and success stories travel fast. Solution development needs to be focused on important aspects, like full operability of basic functions and security – but you can’t wait for all the features to be developed, because you’ll lag behind your competitors. Bringing new features is what we all expect from the IoT solution, so everything doesn’t need to be developed before the go to market.  

IoT solutions require highly skilled specialists: computer science engineers, senior SW developers, SW architects, OT experts. Demand for those people is tremendous and at the beginning of the project there’s a lot of researching, prototyping for valid PoC showcase etc. So, you might imagine that funding IoT project development doesn’t come cheap. Partnership are becoming key element of successful IoT stories and inter-connectivity is bringing the real value for the companies. You can’t have all the required skills in house, so participate on some IoT events, be part of some IoT organizations, meet partners who share the common interest.

Take care of your end customers, you need to know all the organizations that will be affected by implementation of your IoT solution. You need to communicate with them regularly, craft your solution in accordance to operational information you’re getting from them, so you’d avoid surprises for both parties when solutions goes live.

Also, don’t forget the funding for marketing, IoT is a huge market and no matter how technically advanced your solution is, you need to promote it, you need to show that your solution is better than alternatives – you need to become visible on the market, before the other reach your level (which they definitely will given enough time) and then you will lose your competitive advantage.  

Anyhow, this post was definitely not brought with the idea to discourage you. Bare in mind that 61% of Cisco’s survey respondents stated “we have barely begun to scratch the surface” and in accordance to one of the old sayings “Failure is the best teacher” – don’t be afraid to fail, IoT time is just starting.


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