In the enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) market, the proof of concept (POC) phase is a double-edged sword.
For companies, it’s a boon, allowing them extra time to kick the tires and decide whether to move forward with a full project implementation.
For vendors, the POC phase has become a necessary evil. Many IoT vendors report stories of POC phases dragging on indefinitely and monopolizing resources. Some have even suggested charging for the POC phase in order to cover the costs of these trials and weed out less serious shoppers.
451 Alliance research corroborates what a big challenge the POC phase poses for IoT vendors. Despite the effort and resources invested in the projects, only half of POC tests actually move forward into fully realized projects.
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What’s the hold up?
So what’s contributing to this problem? In a recent 451 Alliance survey, more than half of respondents say they are spending more time in the POC phase of IoT projects than they were previously.
Industry growing pains represent a big driver of this slowdown. As IoT becomes more popular, more IoT projects are entering the POC pipeline. These projects are becoming more complex as more technologies and stakeholders become involved. This slows everything down. In a way, enterprise IoT is a victim of its own success.
How to prevent an IoT project slowdown
The solution to this problem can be found in the small 8% of survey respondents who say they’re spending less time in the POC phase than a year before.
This group points to several factors that helped them accelerate their POC timeline:
- Reusing existing IoT infrastructure and platforms for more than one project.
- Improving collaboration between different IoT stakeholders.
- Implementing lessons learned from prior deployments to speed the next project.
As enterprise IoT rises in popularity, expect more projects to enter the POC phase. Companies that are newer to IoT will likely encounter the worst growing pains, while companies with an existing IoT track record can learn from previous projects and begin to scale.
In order to best leverage the efficiencies and reap the benefits that IoT projects offer, it’s important to keep those learning points top of mind.