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By Michael Rivera, PhD

It’s no secret that businesses are already sold on the internet of things (IoT). But they are still tentative about a complete IoT-focused digital implementation. An IoT pilot provides a safety net before full-scale implementation.

It doesn’t require much time and resources. It also allows businesses to easily determine the feasibility and viability of an IoT idea before committing to a long-term investment.

Fortunately, converting an IoT pilot into a full-scale implementation is easy – if done right. Below are the necessary elements to consider:

Communicate IoT Pilot Goals to All Stakeholders

Communicate with stakeholders regularly from the start of the pilot about its objectives, the learnings, and the steps it will take to move from pilot to full-scale implementation. Being open and honest about this can help prevent expensive errors and misunderstandings.

Use a Staged Approach

Using a staged approach lets you invest gradually, collect customer feedback on the business value, and provide checkpoints for stakeholder transparency in each stage.

A development team is heavily involved in the pilot. As such, the team can quickly make design iterations based on user feedback from real-world use. 

Start scaling the solution to more customers as the project moves into beta or another stage closer to full-scale production. You should also involve internal staff other than the development team more frequently as the IoT project gets closer to full-scale implementation.

Swap IoT Pilot Hardware Components for Production-Suitable Ones

Replace the pilot hardware components with those that meet the requirements of the final product. This includes components that satisfy criteria like cost, size, durability, environmental tolerance such as temperature, and regulatory compliance. Having a group dedicated to hardware procurement might be a good idea.

Plan for Regular Security and Operating System Updates

IoT security can be a pressing issue for many organizations. This is why security must be considered before full-scale implementation. Effective steps must be implemented to address data at rest, in use, and in motion. 

Organizations must also consider periodic updates for compatibility with new OS versions, security patches for emerging security threats, bug fixes, and new features.

Conduct Scale and Reliability Testing

An IoT project might work for a select group of users but fail once the number of users, devices, and data increases. It’s important to conduct scale testing at expected production levels. 

Scale testing can identify architectural bottlenecks, component interfaces, and performance issues that might not be evident at first.

Reliability testing is also critical to ensure the IoT solution is dependable with a consistent up-time during full-scale implementation. It must handle unexpected circumstances like power outages, user errors, and erratic communication.

Conclusion

A company’s pilot project can influence how seamless it is to convert to full-scale production. At Thinaer, we provide scalable starter kits tailored to your specific business and technical needs. These solutions are easy to deploy for your IoT project, help you minimize costs, and can be seamlessly converted into full-scale production in record time. Learn more about how it works now.

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