Why do only 25% of IoT Projects Succeed
April 9, 2018 in
How to avoid the common mistakes
This is not a made up stat! Although it is an old stat from a Cisco survey* of 1,845 mid to large enterprises carried out in May 2017. The key findings were;
- 73% of those surveyed had completed an IoT project
- 35% of projects were deemed a success by the IT department
- 15% of projects were deemed a success by the business executive’s
This suggests that 20% of projects succeeded technically but failed to deliver on the expectations of the business while 65% failed for technical reasons. That’s a high failure rate! Despite this, for the enterprises surveyed, IoT delivers real benefits and is more than just hype. Over 6o% said that they could do much more with IoT and all respondents gave a number of reasons for using IoT including;
- 47% to improve quality and performance of products and services
- 46% to improve decision making
- 45% to lower costs
- 44% to improve customer interaction
- 42% to reduce maintenance and downtime
- 61% believe they are just scratching the surface of what can be achieved with IoT
While some cynicism is always required, this was a Cisco survey and they have quite a bit of skin in the game, anecdotal evidence and discussions I have had with vendors and end users suggests that the survey is broadly accurate with a minority of projects successful. So how do improve the odds of success to ensure that your project bucks the trend?
Over the last 15 years we have had a lot of experience of IoT projects, mainly in Data Centre’s, and found that the projects that succeed have some common features;
- Defined goals – Clearly state the problems you are trying to solve and what the data you collect will be used for. Validate data locally; don’t dump data straight into a central “Data Lake”. Don’t boil the ocean, keep it focused and do a few things well.
- Defined Scope –your project will have unique elements even to an experienced technology partner. Ensure your partner carries out extensive surveys and testing before agreeing a detailed Scope. Avoid mission creep and have a large budget contingency
- Excellent internal communications – IoT projects require close collaboration between multiple departments who all need to buy into the goals and scope.
- Competent resource – partner with subject matter experts and professional project management in the integrator and vendor community, don’t try to do it all in-house.
- Flexible technology – avoid proprietary systems and inflexible software which will frustrate you. This is a fast moving market and you need to be able to scale and adapt quickly.
- Open culture – IoT is a disruptive technology and to be effective you will need to adapt, or create new, processes. Resistance to change and political battles over accountability will undermine the best technology.
If you want to find out more about our IoT solutions and how we can help make your project a success please contact AIT at
Download the survey here.
This blog post has been written by Steve Bailey, MD, AIT Partnership