As we discussed last week, successfully implementing IoT requires a change-management approach. Last week’s post discussed the first element of change management: how to identify a pressing need and develop your vision for how IoT addresses that problem.
The second element of change management — building your coalition — is the first of seven implementation challenges IoT projects face. In addition to recruiting members to your team, conquering this element entails identifying an executive champion and addressing six common stakeholder concerns. This post discusses why executive involvement matters and everyone’s top concern: cost.
OBTAINING EXECUTIVE BUY-IN
Gathering support – including that of an executive champion – will help you to overcome the most prevalent challenge that IoT projects face: a lack of senior management’s support. Without a strong and active executive sponsor, innovative technology projects tend to wither on the vine: they fail to obtain the resources they need, deliver a solution aligned to outdated organizational objectives, or get canceled during a reshuffling of organization priorities.
Having someone who will go to bat for your project from start to finish — and has the authority to make others pay attention to her/his requests (demands?) — is key to successful project delivery. Executive sponsor’s aid project succession in three ways: First, an executive sponsor has the authority to clarify priorities, make strategic decisions, to navigate issues, and to mitigate risks that day-to-day project staff lack; the buck stops here. Second, your executive champion helps you obtain the resources you need, be it money, cooperation, or additional staff. Finally — and most importantly — your executive provides insight into the board room’s constantly shifting priorities — helping you retain alignment with corporate strategic goals and objectives, and therefore, continued support.
So, before you start building your coalition, stake out your executive champion. Lay out how this initiative aligns to their personal or professional goals. Consider who you’ll need on the team. Then be ready to answer their questions [top of my list: What can I do to help?] and address their concerns.
Presenting your problem statement and vision will persuade some of the need to adopt IoT; however, most will want you to address real and perceived implementation challenges before lending their support. There’s six common challenges organizations implementing IoT face and how to address these concerns:
- The “high” investment cost
As discussed last week, moving from one end of the maturity curve to the other may require a substantial investment; so, don’t try to make the leap from beginning to end in one step. A grand vision may be persuasive, but its cost may prevent you from ever getting the go-ahead.
To manage risk and mitigate cost, IoT implementations are best consumed as several successive “bite-sized” projects — i.e., projects with discrete milestones whose cost is reasonable and digestible given the organization’s current priorities and funding availability. Start small: pilot technologies first, then invest in foundational pieces, rolled-out in phases. To control costs further, make use of public infrastructure and software-as-a-service in lieu of more expensive private or on premise installations.
Alternately, make the case for your improvement more persuasive by identifying the IoT solutions with the best bang for the buck and documenting its business case.
Finally, with IoT costs declining rapidly, conservative firms may see a benefit in waiting. If so, keep an eye on prices — and your competition: just don’t wait too long or you’ll be left behind.
Is IoT secure? Come back next week to find out how to address frequently-heard IoT concerns about cybersecurity, privacy, and more.
How will IoT benefit your organization? For more practical ways to use IoT to make smarter asset management decisions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.