Narrowing the Process of Application Selection and Prioritization Using Feasibility Studies

July 8, 2015

The process of identifying new and innovative uses of the Internet of Things (IoT) within the enterprise should be unrestrained and limited only by creativity. Depending on the openness of the process within an enterprise, everyone and anyone should contribute ideas. Encouraging novel and unique ideas is a way of creating new opportunities for the business and re-energising older products or services, enabled with new technology.

Enterprise IoT on the executive agenda has reignited a new enthusiasm for innovation across many departments in highly traditional manufacturing industries. It has also started to open up executive reviews of partnerships and collaborations to create additional services. In many cases, trials and Proof of Concept (PoC) models can be delivered within very short time-frames as a result of accelerated development tools and readily available platforms. With entry barriers for these models virtually non-existent, Enterprise IoT at this early stage is gaining momentum. In fact, Enterprise IoT has become somewhat of a nirvana for innovators.

With the rising tide of innovation, executives need to bring management tools into the frame, ensuring that enterprise resources are applied properly, efficiently, and intelligently. Having initially been presented with the longer list of potential Enterprise IoT ideas and opportunities, enterprise executives should look to narrow the number of ideas and opportunities into a shorter list, applying such tools as a high level feasibility study.

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Figure 1: Narrowing process of Enterprise IoT ideas and opportunities [Source: Machina Research, 2015]

Designing a High Level Feasibility Study for Your Enterprise

In the ThingWorx White Paper entitled, “Blueprints and feasibility studies for Enterprise IoT,” we presented one approach to feasibility studies addressing eight important criteria such as market opportunity, revenue potential, time to market, and so on. These are illustrated in Figure 2 below.

These criteria address a variety of important product and service opportunity factors for a high level assessment of any identified Enterprise IoT opportunity. Enterprises should look to customise these feasibility studies to their individual requirements, apply weightings against individual criteria if required, and, most importantly, make sure there is a clear definition for each criteria to establish common understanding and ability to compare between opportunities.

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Figure 2: High level feasibility study model for Enterprise IoT opportunities [Source: Machina Research, 2015]

The criteria in the above feasibility study illustrates one example. Your enterprise may want to include such additional or alternative criteria as risk, time to first contract, quick wins, and so on.Finally, in performing the assessment for the individual feasibility studies, Machina Research would recommend getting a team together to determine scores, and build the final set of recommendations as to which Enterprise IoT opportunities the enterprise should consider and plan for accordingly.

One final and critical component of IoT is that innovation should never stop. The planning and build of the IoT architecture should not be limited to one solution and should leverage the modular architecture and integral data and application sharing made possible. In this world, the decisions presented to executives should not be one of singular opportunities but of roadmaps of IoT opportunities.

For more insights around Blueprints and Feasibility Studies for Enterprise IoT, read the “Blueprints and feasibility studies for Enterprise IoT” White Paper.