There’s More to IoT Deployment than Investing in the Tech
IoT is spreading from the living room to the board room. But how can businesses deploy IoT technology effectively for the optimum return?
The Internet of Things has steadily had an increasing impact on our day to day lives over the past few years. This has been most pronounced in our homes, with the ability to control lights, heating, TV, etc from our smartphones or smart speakers, and having all our gadgetry interconnected.
However, where technology influences one part of life, you can be sure it will seep into others, and organisations are falling over themselves to leverage the commercial benefits of IoT, particularly through the latest project management and resource management tools.
Benefits of IoT deployment
Intuitively, it makes sense. Modern businesses are increasingly reliant on automated and digital processes, and the better these are integrated and interconnected, the more effectively they can be managed and utilised.
In fact, understanding the need is not the problem. A recent survey of almost 1,000 companies across a range of sectors revealed that more than half have an IoT plan that they are in the process of executing.
A quarter of the companies surveyed are investing at least £3.5 million per year, and two thirds say they will be increasing their investment between now and 2020.
Yet there is a difference between financial investment and effective deployment, and therein lies the potential banana skin for many of these companies.
Effective change management
In a great many ways, the corporate landscape has evolved beyond all recognition over the past 50 years. But there is one important factor that has barely changed at all, and that is human nature.
As a species, we have a natural tendency to greet change with suspicion and resistance. This is not through any conscious desire to be awkward, it is a natural psychological reaction to rail against anything that doesn’t seem “right.” If we have been doing something in a certain way for a long period, our brains will instinctively revolt against doing it differently, in much the same way as we might want to straighten a crooked picture on the wall.
The key to overcoming this is to be convinced that the new way is inherently right, and there is no better way of achieving that than by having those who will use the new technology actively involved in its development and deployment.
Remember the human factor
It is disingenuous to think that half a day of training is going to get people up and running effectively in the brave new world. All it will serve to do is exacerbate the natural resistance to change by adding confusion and frustration, particularly when the inevitable dip in productivity occurs while everyone gets up to speed.
Compare that with the situation where staff are consulted at the outset in the development of new systems, are updated with frequent progress bulletins and are then actively involved in implementation across the organisation.
It is a little shocking that in this supposedly enlightened age, around 35 percent of the companies surveyed had not even considered the cultural change aspect of IoT deployment. The organisations that get the best return from IoT and resource management technology will be those that always keep the human factor at the top of the agenda.