For large companies in utilities, mining and other heavy industries, it’s a time of upheaval in IT. Investments made in large, monolithic applications over the past 25 years are now reaching — or are well past — their end of life. At the same time, exciting new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) beckon. But not everyone is ready to adopt these new technologies — or knows how to do so effectively.
While IT environments are rapidly moving to the cloud, so are hiring practices. A generation of business and IT users are reaching retirement age. They’re being replaced by contractors who come and go. At the same time, a new generation of millennial workers are proving fluent in modern technology but lacking in patience for enterprise software designed a decade ago.
These challenges are being felt perhaps most acutely in the Asia-Pacific market, which is leading the world in its adoption of IoT.
A recent survey by Forbes found that companies in Australia and New Zealand were more progressive in developing IoT programs than their international peers. Companies from the Asia-Pacific region were also more likely than other companies to invest in IoT for generating incremental revenue instead of merely for cost savings (87 per cent versus 60 per cent).
At the same time, Australian and New Zealand companies are experiencing staffing pains as a result of these forward-thinking investments. Of companies in the region, 43 per cent lack the personnel required to handle the influx of data from IoT devices. This problem is experienced only by 29 per cent of companies worldwide.
Project Management, Change Management And Data Integration
How to address these challenges? Three key practices for steering digital transformation initiatives like the IoT present themselves. They include project management, change management and data integration.
Whether you’re rolling out a new IoT initiative or adopting a new cloud application, you need to be able to manage your IT projects in a controlled way. You must keep track of hardware, software, people and designs, and ensure that everything comes together smoothly and on time.
Let’s not forget the importance of change management here either. If you’re adopting IoT and altering your operations, you need to be able to plan effectively, engage employees, and transform not just IT systems but also organisational culture.
Data integration is often an afterthought for CIOs and IT architects. It’s easy to focus on the new stuff you’re building out — the amazing IoT project that’s going to deliver so much more data about your delivery fleet, your wind farm or your manufacturing floor.