Develop a Prototype
A marathon is run one step at a time, and a connected product development is no different. At first, the ideal framework and set of technology selections may not be clear-cut. In these cases, the first step should be to develop a prototype that can be used to frame out the necessary parameters and understand the pinch points of your IoT product deployment. The prototype should be end-to-end and include a thin thread that connects the sensor through the device, network, cloud, end-user interface, and enterprise integration.
Review with Stakeholders
Once the IoT prototype is developed, it is time to complete a postmortem to understand the successes and failures, obtain customer input, and plan either further refinements to the prototype or additional prototypes. When a final prototype is complete, the IoT solution must be evangelized to other divisions. When doing this, it is important to have a clear set of documents, descriptions, and diagrams that show what has been built and how other divisions can take advantage of the framework.
The shape of an IoT solution for diversified enterprises is often an hourglass, where the middle (IoT platform) is constant across device deployments, but the bottom (device personality) and the top (user interface) is different depending on the products, end user types, and business models. Part of the review with stakeholders after the initial prototype should identify which parts should be kept constant and which parts should be customized for each IoT solution within the company. Once the technology framework is in place, an initial prototype has been developed, and a postmortem review has been completed with key stakeholders, it is time to develop a comprehensive IoT strategy.