Why so many IoT Projects fail even before proper take off ?
As per a recent publication, about 2/3rd of IoT projects fail at proof of concept stage. Though the number looks high, it resembles the past records of other new initiatives such as cloud computing, agile initiatives or likewise.
What are the main reasons for such high failure rate of the projects at early stage. I am attempting to highlight few main factors that could lead to such a situation:
Jumping the hype bandwagon without proper clarity on business impacts:
Typically business needs should be the driver for the technology changes. Business should drive technology, and not vice versa. However, many times it happens so that because of the technology hype cycle, leaders gets excited and would like to be seen as the front-runner change agents. They would like their department to be the one showcasing the leading edge of projects. In such cases the feasibility and viability aspects are not properly studied in details and the PoC is starting with incomplete information. In such situation, parties rarely arrive at a common expectations of outcomes. Each of them have their own expectation of outcome, which is documented only in their mind. As things progress, the differences in expectations start to come out in open, leading to tussels and impat project outcome heavily
Scaling roadmap is not drawn
It is important to do PoC and validate the concept before going for full fledged implementation. It helps in validating the concept, end user desirability and creates ample room for incorporating feedback from business stakeholders. Though it is not required in detailed, but a high level roadmap which is giving clear view of how things are to proceed from start to an end. This provides clarity to mission, link the actions with vision for the initiative, and keeps check on the timeline, cost etc. If scaling roadmap is missing, team carries a lot of confusion, apprehension and doubt in their mind, leading to less than 100% of dedication.
Missing talent and expertise for implementation
IoT is still evolving concept. Constant innovation is taking place ongoing basis. The project implementation needs very high expertise on technologies that are just arrived, or in some cases not yet arrived in the market. It is hard to find talent, skillset and expertise for such projects. Reference implementation and the best practices may still be lacking, further leaving room for some experimentation during implementation.
Missing integration & collaboration among various teams
IoT projects have several interdependent components, such as hardware, device software, protocol stack implementation, gateway systems, backend systems, end user application, analytics etc. There are several independent teams working on these components, which have very high interdependency on each other. They should constantly work in perfect collaboration with each other, having concise and precise communication on regular basis. Invariably, it happens that team collaboration doesnt work perfectly well leading to undesired situations.
Changing priority & missing management commitment
Any new change is expected to through rough weather. Change is expected to face internal and external resistance, and sometimes a lot of criticism. In such situation, it is important that all important stakeholders are rightly onboarded and provide their complete support. Crucial support and backing of senior management is key to the success of such initiatives in hard times. Patience is the key and outcome will follow. If there are frequent changes in the management priorities, it is bound to lead to failure.