Smart systems development and adoption can be complex but its Achilles Heel and weakness lies with people and their behaviours.
For every gain in the smart systems arena there seems to be five more obstacles and misunderstood opportunities, a report from Harbor Research finds. On the technology supply side, platforms, infrastructure and marketing promises alone will not deliver successful customer solutions. For adopters, trying to address these new emergent opportunities with traditional risk ‘reductionist’ processes will also not solve the problem.
Many in the smart systems and services arena seems to be stuck, either in a proof of concept; trying to get leadership to invest; trying to get past the ‘platform’ to create real customer value creation or trying to figure out how to wire together complex multi-vendor solutions.
Smart systems adoption relies on data and, while the supporting technology has long been in place, what happens to that flow of data is often a different matter.
The vast majority of sensor data still goes un-harvested, un-analysed and often completely ignored. How can it be that companies continue to shun the very intelligence that could optimise their processes and lead them to greater success?
Part of the answer is that raw sensor data is not in itself actionable business information. It requires a complex process of normalisation, filtering, fusion with other data sets and serious analysis in order to become useful for business decisions. Maybe applying these techniques costs too much money, or the sheer volume of sensor-data is too heavy to be crunched for business purposes.
There is always a cost but the benefits are clear. And if the data-stream seems too heavy to be useful, companies should come up with better questions for the data to answer. Mature and well-aligned technologies already exist to support smart systems yet most raw data might as well not exist.
Failure of IIoT projects is not a technology failure it’s more a failure of business models and business maturity.
Market adoption for emergent smart systems solutions is just not there yet. It is hamstringed by both business and technological obstacles which will continue to delay adoption until they are addressed. This unfortunate reality will mean the death of many projects, programs and ventures.
Outside of technological challenges, solution suppliers are plagued with a number of business challenges. The false-start and empty promises from many OEMs and software players left a sour taste in some enterprises’ mouths in regards to the ROI payback from these new connected systems.
Many digital initiatives frequently die in the lab or get stalled in the proof-of-concept jungle and never see the light of day. Encouraging the active participation from all stakeholders of smart systems solutions is a must, from the executive who will find the budget to the field-tech using the system, all feedback must be listened to and actively addressed.
Unfortunately, while most businesses are attempting to embrace new technologies and make bold pronouncements about digital strategies, many are not yet embracing new business models of any kind. Thus, we believe they are in serious danger of moving aggressively to implement—by about 2030—a vintage 2015 strategy. In so doing, they will destroy value rather than create it.