Common IoT Team Gaps and Solutions: IoT Immigrants and Corporate Makers

April 23rd, 2018 | Brian Tol | Operations

At SpinDance, we get to interact with a huge variety of businesses, from international brands like Whirlpool to startups like Dogtelligent. Every week we talk with organizations making their first leap into the world of IoT.

All of these organizations have a unique heritage of products and services and thus, unique challenges to suit. But regardless of the company or product, we see a definitive pattern in the people who are being tasked with succeeding at IoT. Broadly speaking, we can categorize engineers and product managers into two groups: Those engineers who understand traditional product development without expertise in end-to-end strategy, and those who can build a physical product but lack expertise in embedded systems.

We call these two groups “IoT Immigrants” and “Corporate Makers,” respectively. As you can imagine, each group has its own specific challenges in adopting IoT. By identifying the patterns, we’re able to better predict the a project’s needs much earlier in the process, which leads to a more successful project timeline.

Let’s dig a little deeper into these two groups of people and how their wide range of expertise affects their project goals:

IoT Immigrants

IoT Immigrants are people with a background in traditional embedded systems and product development, but have little “end-to-end” IoT experience. They are engineers who know PCB design,…

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Introducing the IoT Canvas: Planning Worksheets For Connected Products

December 19th, 2017 | Brian Tol | News,Operations,SpinDance

Managing an IoT project can be tricky. Every month, SpinDance talks to one or two organizations who are stuck somewhere on the IoT journey. Some of the scenarios we’ve heard recently include:

  • The project team is struggling to sort through competing vendor claims.
  • The organization isn’t sure how to build a business case or calculate long-term ROI.
  • Their QA process is taking 3x as long as expected, forcing them to rush a inferior product to market.
  • They didn’t plan for essential features like over-the-air updates, and are scrambling to add them to a suboptimal embedded design.
  • Their device analytics are not answering the questions the business /really/ cares about.
  • The outsourced cloud development team is months behind delivering a product, and there is finger pointing between all the various delivery groups.

These are all true stories we’ve seen up close, and unfortunately they aren’t isolated experiences. Cisco recently did a survey that found that 85% of IoT projects are considered business failures at some level. Meanwhile, we continue to consult with project teams that aren’t sure where to turn next.

There’s no reason that a properly-planned project should fail, so this raises the critical question: why are IoT projects so difficult?

Why is IoT so difficult?

There are lots of symptoms that contribute to the difficulty of IoT project management,…

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