What makes for a successful Industrial IoT (IIoT) implementation? There are many contributing factors to an effective IIoT deployment: technology solutions, installation environments, and pilot test outcomes. However, one of the underappreciated elements to IIoT success may be getting executive or senior-level backing. According to an IoT World Today study, of the respondents who reported “excellent” results, 60 percent had the backing of c-level executives while respondents with less-than-stellar results said the level of c-level support was 35 percent.
Why? Gaining executive support for an Industrial IoT project can aid in unifying communication across different departments and business units, sell the pitch for the company to evolve its technology, and secure an organization-wide installation that benefits multiple stakeholders–some of whom may not even know that the IIoT is the answer to their biggest challenges.
Here’s how to get a senior champion on board:
Research Industrial IoT Solutions
Before approaching an executive about an Industrial IoT installation, it is important to understand how your goals align with the pros and cons of each offering. The method for instrumenting the IIoT within a facility is a crucial detail to consider. Will standalone sensors or solutions need to be deployed throughout your facility or is there a more efficient way collect critical data, or automate processes? Digital Lumens implements the Industrial IoT through its intelligent LED fixtures which contain sensors capable of capturing both lighting and non-lighting data insights. Because intelligent LED fixtures are spread evenly throughout a facility and can reduce energy costs, they are ideal for IIoT instrumentation and can easily enable additional, off-light smart sensors.
Hardware solutions are not the only part of the Industrial IoT equation. Selecting the software to control or automate operations, or track and verify specific data insights generated by the hardware sensors is key. When researching IIoT software for a growing business, it’s beneficial select software, and a platform, that is customizable and can adapt to your changing or growing needs. SiteWorx, an IIoT platform deployed through existing lighting fixtures, features software applications (supported by both on-light and off-light IIoT sensors) that can monitor areas within a facility or across sites and help to increase energy savings, maintain optimal environmental conditions, identify and allocate line-level production costs, and monitor the space around important assets.
Conduct a Pilot Project
Pilot tests are often the best way to demonstrate IIoT effectiveness. Many pilot projects consist of installing intelligent LED lighting into a building because it can yield sizable, and quantifiable, benefits in the form of energy savings while instrumenting the test area for non-lighting Industrial IoT solutions. Intelligent LED fixtures containing embedded smart sensors working in tandem with advanced software controls like SiteWorx Tune can achieve up to 90% in lighting-related energy savings and also create a facility-wide IIoT network that enables deployment of new applications.
If intelligent LED fixtures are not a part of your pilot and implementation plan, then Digital Lighting Agents (DLAs) can affix to virtually any existing light fixture while delivering the same energy savings and IIoT-enabled set up.
While the pilot project is underway, keep those in charge aware of the whole process by taking photos of the project, sending out weekly email updates, and getting answers to any project-related questions from your Industrial IoT vendor.
Demonstrate Three Types of Value: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Cross-Organizational
When the pilot project concludes, it is important to present the highly quantitative findings like the percentage increase in energy savings with intelligent LED fixtures and cost allocation through power metering. However, the qualitative results such as the benefits of automated environmental monitoring (which can ensure product quality, decrease contamination risk, and improve productivity), or leveraging lighting occupancy patterns to optimize inventory placement, as well as your factory or warehouse floor plan, can often be just as valuable. Other qualitative benefits such as workspace comfort may not seem important at first to an organization’s bottom line but their effects can translate into increased productivity over time.
The ideal IIoT solution also enables another benefit that’s often overlooked: cross-organizational value. As you research, pilot, and measure, be aware of opportunities that may be created for those outside of your immediate scope, whether now or in the future. An intelligent lighting solution may appeal more to decision makers when demonstrating that it can yield quantifiable ROI through significant energy savings, while accompanying, lighting-based occupancy data and additional facility monitoring applications can provide unique insights that enable supply chain, operations, EHS, and even IT stakeholders to realize new opportunities and efficiencies.
An effective pitch for the Industrial IoT will lead with a clear understanding of both the goals and opportunities, demonstrate quantitative results and illustrate the long-term value through qualitative findings. If there isn’t enough time in your pilot test to fully demonstrate quantitative value, industry use case studies can be used to round out a proposal and establish the opportunities of the IIoT for your organization.
Most executives appreciate documented goals, and a well-researched and thoroughly tested solution that are demonstrated to improve efficiency and lower costs. With those things in place, you’re more likely to find the support you need, and lead a successful IIoT project that can deliver business benefits both known and new for years to come.
Learn how SiteWorx, Digital Lumens’ IIoT platform, instruments industrial facilities to collect and analyze data, and helps our customers achieve new insights and efficiencies.