Summer is filled with exciting sporting events like Wimbledon, FIFA World Cup soccer, and National League Baseball. It seems like the games with the most riding on them come down to nail-biting moments in which the outcome could go either way. If you are one of the competitors, wouldn’t it be great to know in advance that you’ll come out on top?
In the industrial arena, it is
possible to have guaranteed wins. A great example is using digital experiments to optimize Internet of Things (IoT) technology so you can be sure you will get the outcomes you expect.
Prototypes Let You Play the Game before it Starts
Digital experimentation starts with creating a prototype. Prototypes are trial versions of your vision for an IoT system. They don’t have to be production-ready systems, just accurate representations that can show your design will work as intended.
The quality and comprehensiveness of your prototype is critical. It must represent the total IoT environment, including sensors, devices, the cloud, and user or machine interfaces, and it must be capable of demonstrating whether your system will get the results you need:
- Connect the unconnected: Will you be able to connect native communication protocols or devices to generate or capture data?
- Stream anywhere: Will data be able to move freely from the cloud, analytics platform, and between devices?
- Control the edge: Will your system enable end-point monitoring, device management, visualization, and analytics to enable intelligent devices?
When you use a prototype in digital experiments, you learn. You can identify ways to improve your design, confirm the system will work with partners’ solutions, and see where IoT will truly result in ROI. There won’t be any need for guesswork or calling audibles once the full system is running. You will know it works — before you invest on a larger scale.
Digital Experimentation = Innovation
Don’t confuse a digital experiment with a pilot. Perhaps the most important difference between the two is that digital experiments are the vehicles for innovation.
In her TED talk, Linda Hill
, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and co-author of “Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Innovation,” says innovation requires discovery-driven learning that pilots can often stifle: “Experiments are usually about learning. When you get a negative outcome, you're still really learning something that you need to know. Pilots are often about being right. When they don't work, someone or something is to blame.”
And with pilots, progress can stop. The industry success rate with IoT projects is only at 26 percent. Digital experiments may have been able to save some of the other 74 percent. Hill points out, “The final capability (with experiments) is creative resolution. This is about doing decision making in a way that you can actually combine even opposing ideas to reconfigure them in new combinations to produce a solution that is new and useful.”
So, what useful solutions can result? New products, new revenue streams, new software applications — innovation à la your brand.
Digital Experiments Give You an Advantage
To run digital experiments efficiently and cost effectively, you can take advantage of a subscription-based Digital Experiments offering, giving you all the benefits of digital experimentation — without the CAPEX. For a monthly fee, you can use the provider’s hardware, software, and experimentation platform, and you don’t have to invest in prototyping and infrastructure. This method also allows you to run multiple experiments concurrently, saving time, and lets you experiment in a safe zone that won’t impact ongoing production.
are an efficient and effective way to teach you how to get the greatest return from your IoT system. They also boost confidence among the project’s stakeholders, demonstrating that further investment in your IoT system is the right call for your business. After all, it’s much better to know at the outset that you’re going to win.