Digital transformation and Internet of Things (IoT) are topics that are widely discussed in business today. That said, many organizations are still slow in getting transformation initiatives underway and implementing real IoT solutions.
This is because most people are trapped in technology so they don't focus on the challenges they are trying to solve.
We must stay away from the idea that when a new technology emerges, we must find an application for it in our business.
That's because of such thoughts that organizations often apply technology with just fad, only to find that it doesn't produce the kind of results they expect. This then causes them to hesitate to adopt new technologies in the future, because they have not been proven.
We need to change the way we think about technology, especially when it comes to IoT.
For IoT to make a real difference to business, organizations must focus on challenges first. Technology is there, but unless you have a deep understanding of the problem you're trying to solve, you will become stuck and progress will be slow.
However, if you focus on challenges and then see what technology is out there that can solve problems if applied differently, you will see how much easier it is to embrace IoT.
IoT is always about connecting things and making the most valuable organizational assets visible.
We work with many retail clients and the two biggest challenges they face are electricity costs and optimizing them labor. Through IoT, for example, they can monitor electricity usage in real-time, and can turn off equipment remotely when they are not needed.
At the same time, they can monitor employees to ensure that their time is spent optimally for the most important tasks. This is just one example where IoT can drive efficiency and save costs, but there are many other applications out there.
It can't be about embracing every hyped-up technology that comes at your desk. Unless technology can solve immediate problems for your organization, increase efficiency and reduce costs, it may not be the right solution for you.
Technology for that can be very dangerous and expensive. However, if applied in the right way to solve business challenges, businesses can benefit greatly.
I have not seen an industry or sector that cannot benefit from IoT. This is the application that makes all the difference.
* By Rodney Taylor, CEO of Activate Group.