I believe it is not wrong to say that in every company digitalization is discussed, in one form or another. That is, how to capture
the possibilities that new technologies bring with them and how to develop the business. And this is all good.
In my own work I have however realized that too many companies end up gravitating too fast towards technology when exploring the possibilities of digitalization. This way of working leads alarmingly often to the conclusion, that IoT is about technology and that the knowhow in this technology must be in-house. As soon as we have a platform and the specialists, we can get to work.
When choosing this road, an IoT technology department is born with a mission to build and maintain the best in class technology. Investments into IT, software, licenses and equipment are done according to the traditional company purchasing process, all well prepared and planned and using the good old purchasing department bidding process. You can see and feel the energy, there is so much to do and the excitement around the new technology is almost tangible.
Who would not want to be part of inventing the wheel?
The focus and fuss around the technology consumes however enormous amounts of critical resources, both management focus and time. All this on something for which solutions already exist. This start-up phase takes easily a year, which is the core of the problem. Meanwhile the competition is already far down the road implementing the learnings and rolling out the next generation products and services.
An agile organization focuses on thinking, what is it that we are trying to achieve with digitalization. They explore, pilot and iterate. Success does not result from acquiring technology and resources, but from the intelligent application of it. This is why most of the resources should focus on the latter. A partner with the appropriate technology and tools can take care of the rest.
I firmly believe, that regardless of the hype around IoT, it does not differ, from the perspective of technology and operations, at all from traditional IT. An outsourced IoT-service frees the organization to what it knows and does best. Outsourcing the IoT-technology and the operations keeps the focus on the business and its development.
It is up to both the IT-partner and the IoT-partner to ensure that the service and the underlying technologies develop continuously. A good partner offers ideas, support and allows for the customer to leverage the partners wide experience and knowhow.
On every strategy course the classic question, ”make or buy”, is presented and discussed. This question is still crucial to the success of any company.
Vice president responsible for Elisa’s IoT projects