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IoT Strategy Decisions: A Case for Rapid Experimentation

In the December 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review, they published a great article on The Discipline of Business Experimentation. (Which you should read after reading this.) The ultimate point of the article is that organizations too often make big decisions without actually testing them, and when you test ideas ahead of time you often avoid disaster or make them better along the way.

Don't Wait, Experiment Today!

Probably the greatest reason organizations leap into big decisions is that they take so long to make. Instead of testing an idea, months are spent on internal debate while decision makers oscillate on what to do next. By the time a decision is made, there is a panic to catch up with competition, customer demand, or now-too-obvious market changes. If your organization is dithering on major decisions about moving forward, start experimenting now.
“You can’t leave emerging technology to chance or luck. Yet, that’s the trap many companies fall into, due to resource constraints, competing priorities, and different lenses on how technology can propel the business.”

Chris Curran, Chief Technologist, PwC from Five ways companies can prepare for Industry 4.0

Will the Real IoT Platform Please Stand Up

Regarding the rapidly growing world of Industrial IoT, the market has a LOT of overnight pop-up solutions and companies, just like any other emerging industry. While time will clear the legitimate solutions from the wannabes, organizations can’t wait till then to know who is worth investing in.

While many organizations handle this by extensive vetting and investigation, only a few are actually experimenting before jumping in head first. Experimentation reduces risk and enables your organization to make effective decisions faster than can done with "vetting" alone.

The Devil is in the Details

For OEMs and Manufacturers, the success of an Industrial IoT platform usually depends on a few critical and essential features. It is almost impossible to know if a solution will truly meet these needs until you put it in the field and try it out. Don’t just settle for “yeah, we do that” - put it to the test!

Example - The Oil Industry

To combat the recent downturn in oil prices, oil companies have invested heavily in experimentation with new technology. Here are some examples of new innovations which have emerged in this process (from CNBC):

  • Shell developed a new type of pipe, called “steel lazy wave riser,” which carries oil and gas from deepwater Stones field in the Gulf of Mexico for processing. It can bend to absorb the motion of the sea and the floating platform, which Shell says boosts production at extreme depths.
  • Chevron is now using a robotic device to clean and check the inside of pipelines on their Erskine field in the North Sea faster. This improvement helped raise the field's daily production rate to the highest in two years.

But the most important lesson from the Oil Industry is their use of data. By taking data collection seriously, they are currently one of the most rapidly innovating industries.

"The oil industry, to some extent, is one of the most digitalised industries. Companies are now able to use this wealth of data to make changes that will save money."

Gunnar Presthus, Nordic energy lead at consultancy Accenture from Oil companies experiment with technology to weather crisis

Experiment and Start Collecting Data Today!

DATTUS understands the need to experiment rapidly and collect data. This is why we have designed our pilot programs to be as accessible and low-risk as possible. Don’t wait for your competition to beat you to market! The DATTUS IoT Platform will get your organization collecting data and experience quickly to make better decisions moving forward.

In the December 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review, they published a great article on The Discipline of Business Experimentation. (Which you should read after reading this.) The ultimate point of the article is that organizations too often make big decisions without actually testing them, and when you test ideas ahead of time you often avoid disaster or make them better along the way.