Manufacturing executives all over the world are looking at IIoT/Industry 4.0 (Industrial Internet of Things) as a way to transform their business. They understand the potential of the technology that can drive better overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), drive process improvements and reduce waste while also innovating ways to bring new products out the door for their customers.  The combination of infrastructure, analytics and visibility are creating real economic value across many organizations. However in this current phase, many are discovering that the ultimate vision of deploying IoT has many pitfalls and it is estimated show that 60 percent never move past the proof of concept phase and only 26 percent of companies would view their deployment as a success. A recent Connected Futures podcast echoed these sentiments as several experts discussed the challenges and successes they have had in deploying IoT. Despite these obstacles, estimates from IDC note that IoT endpoints will exceed 14.9 billion to more than 82 billion by 20251.

Avoiding the pitfalls

So, what are some of the issues that are causing these bumps in the roads with these projects?  My colleague Scot Wlodarczak laid out seven key areas to success in RFID Journal with his article “Don’t Let Your Industrial Internet of Things Project Fail” and noted the following:

  • Start small: If you focus on your entire plant, you will make success much less likely. Try starting with a smaller project in a key focus area.
  • Define success: Determine what you are trying to achieve, then measure it before and after any IoT project.
  • Gain internal company IT and operations alignment: The days when operations can implement network-related projects without IT are gone, or at least close to extinction. Success is much more likely achieved by working closely together. 
  • Understand and address security risks: Connecting to data from the factory to the enterprise, or opening up remote access all the way down to the plant floor, can potentially open up security risks. Carefully evaluate the potential risks and impact of those risks, then focus on the most serious
  • Free up data from disparate networks: Make sure you fully understand the different networks in use all the way down to the data you want to capture for analysis.
  • Avoid data overload: Keep your data set manageable and use basic statistical analysis to look for outlier data.
  • Cultivate a technology-focused culture and IoT expertise: You need new technology to achieve the promise of many IoT benefits, and you need the expertise of people, vendors, and partners to get there.

You can view the entire article here.

Where do you stand in IIoT readiness?

All of these factors are a lot to consider and may seem overwhelming to companies who are looking to begin or even improve upon their IoT deployments.  To help our customers and partners, we have developed an Industrial IoT Assessment Tool.  Use this tool to see where you stand relative to your peers on Industrial IoT readiness and get estimates for the value at stake with specific digital solutions.  You will receive a personalized report that you may use to help drive discussion within your organization.  It will explore your current state, the potential value you could realize from IIoT as well identifying value drivers. Additionally, we’ll be happy to review the report with you and discuss your current IIoT project, make recommendations, and help you align and prioritize your business needs.

Click the picture below to access the tool.

1 Source: IDC Worldwide Internet of Things Installed Base by Connectivity Forecast, 2017–2021, March 2017


Eric Ehlers

Marketing Manager

Manufacturing and Energy