It’s no secret that the IoT industry is booming. A study conducted by IDC shows that the market value of the IoT industry will climb to a whopping $745 billion this year, and is estimated to reach more than $1 trillion by 2022. The same study finds that there are currently 23 billion connected devices around the globe.

Less discussed, but of even greater importance for business executives, is that the pressure to get involved in this sector can be intimidating—and failure rates are high. 75% of executives at global enterprises say they have already unsuccessfully attempted to implement IoT initiatives into their overall business strategy, with 66% adding that the most challenging aspect of the IoT space is filling the skills gap.

In spite of these obstacles, business leaders must continue to look for solutions to remain competitive and relevant to their customer base in the IoT world we live in today.

Before you take the leap into your own IoT transformation, here are three essential factors that can make you more comfortable:

Patience is key 

To start your IoT journey, you must first identify where your business fits into the industry and what gaps you are able to fill with the resources you have available. Rather than scattering resources throughout multiple half-hearted projects, it’s important to finish individual projects that make a difference long term. Don’t rush progress — as with anything, good things happen in time with IoT implementation.

To put this into perspective, let’s look at a property management company that was trying to incorporate a keyless entry system into its properties a few years back. This goal birthed a game-changing cloud-based, keyless entry technology that enables hosts of vacation homes, such as AirBnB and VRBO, to give a PIN passcode to their guests, rather than coordinating a key handoff. This system also allows hosts to observe when guests, cleaning staff, or other individuals are coming and going. After successfully incorporating this system into its strategy, the company decided to add more features to the technology, such as home control options. This allowed its guests to experience a smart home environment during their stay, easily controlling lights, thermostats, and security options. By doing so, the company was able to improve customer experience by first starting with the basics that were core to their business, and then adding more features along the way.

Teamwork makes the dream work

To incorporate a new market focus or initiative into your IoT transformation, you must start by finding a reliable partner who can help take your solution to the next level. Ideally, they would have extensive knowledge of the technology and IoT space, and have the ability to incorporate app, cloud service, and hardware benefits into one platform, providing a smooth and successful transformation.

For example, one of the country’s largest energy companies began looking into home control systems to incorporate into their consumer product line. At first, the company started with 15 potential partners who could help advance their efforts. However, when looking deeper into these possible partners, the conversations revealed that almost none of them could help the energy company with its needs. In fact, it quickly discovered that only one of the original 15 prospects had the necessary resources to advance its mission. The partner had the complete package: best hardware fit for smart energy monitoring, a white-label application, cloud support, and overall flexibility to add additional features if needed. The partnership has allowed the energy company to successfully launch one solution, with many more on its future roadmap.

When you invest in the right partner, you are able to access the proper resources and capabilities to be successful. Partnerships, if done correctly, help you save both time and money as you advance your mission.

Data leads to growth

According to Gartner, more than 40% of data analytics assignments will contribute to advancing the consumer experience by 2020. Now, more than ever, companies should leverage data to drive success. Data can not only work on a macro-level by allowing companies to see what their future entails, but also at the micro-level by improving consumer satisfaction and furthering those relationships.

When you first begin to incorporate data into your business strategy, it can be challenging to understand how to use it properly or how to analyze the findings. Determining your end goal is extremely important for using data accurately. For example, one company used data to achieve its end goal of maximizing its IoT clean energy product. It used insights from its existing data to create a new feature that reduced power to unused appliances during peak hours. Through this innovation, customers saw lower monthly bills, which in turn contributed to an increase in customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

To successfully complete an IoT transformation within your organization, you must determine your current goals, identify gaps within the market, and set targets for future innovation. With the right mindset, partner, and use of data, your business can ensure customer satisfaction and long term success for your IoT transformation.

Mark Samuel is the CEO of Ezlo Innovation. With expertise in strategic planning and digital consumer systems, he has Ezlo focused on initiatives that will transform the home automation landscape. Most recently, Mark served as the CRO at Cirrent, which was sold to Cypress Semiconductors in 2018, and as the COO/EVP at Savant Systems. He has overseen three acquisitions in the last 18 months, with more to follow.

IoT stock photo by metamorworks/Shutterstock