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Steps to avoid IoT pilot purgatory

A time-tested approach for IoT innovation and scaling

The Internet of Things (IoT) has many benefits for businesses, governments, and organizations looking to improve operations, track assets, and enhance customer experiences. As with many new technologies, companies often test the waters with a proof of concept but frequently get stuck in IoT pilot purgatory with no clear path to scale the solution. Our IoT infographic details an eight-step approach to avoiding this scenario.

Stuck on the runway: IoT pilot purgatory

A large US-based airline deployed an Internet of Things proof of concept to provide customers with security wait times. After the initial phase ended, only 1.4 percent of the IoT-interested airline’s target customers had used the technology, and there was no clear path to scale across the organization; it was stuck in “loT pilot purgatory”—a state of ambiguity without a clearly defined strategy to scale.

Here’s the kicker: They’re not alone. Seventy-four percent of IoT pilot programs fail to scale, according to Cisco,1 and those that aren’t immediately abandoned enter IoT pilot purgatory.

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Eight IoT steps for staying out of pilot purgatory

Deloitte uses a time-tested IoT innovation and scaling approach: think big, start small, scale fast, and fail forward. There are eight steps to executing this approach:

Flying above the clouds
In 2020, there will be 20 to 25 billion internet-connected devices, according to IoT analytics,2 meaning that millions of pilots all over the world will become stuck in loT pilot purgatory state in the coming years. Our eight-step approach can help ensure that yours won’t be one of them.

Get in touch

Chris Bates is a specialist leader in the Government & Public Services practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP. He is the lead for Deloitte’s application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and solutions for governments. Additionally, he has more than 20 years of experience leading technical teams providing IoT, digital transformation, program management, systems engineering and integration, test and evaluation, predictive analytics, and global operations support for governments to help solve his client’s toughest challenges. Prior to consulting, Chris served as an officer in the US Marine Corps where he supported global contingency operations and flight-tested advanced technologies in aviation.

Kelly Marchese leads Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Supply Chain and Network Operations practice for the Government & Public Services market. Kelly specializes in global supply chain transformations, supply chain innovation/advanced technologies, lean operations, and supply chain risk/resilience. Kelly has rich experience in complex project environments where there is a broad set of stakeholders across functions, geographies, and regulatory constraints.



2 IoT Analytics, “State of the IoT 2018: Number of IoT devices now at 7B – Market accelerating,” Market Insights for the Internet of Things, August 08, 2018.

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