How to make IoT a key part of your company's growth strategy
by Ryne DeBoer
May 4, 2018

For most business executives, the internet of things (IoT) is far from a foreign concept. According to a recent Hewlett Packard study, more than 95 percent have an understanding of the IoT, while 85 percent plan to implement it by 2019. When it comes to making the most of IoT technology, however, things tend to get a little murky.

Construction managers in particular are often left wondering how to tap into the potential of the IoT and telematics devices. The novelty of the new technology makes it difficult for managers to determine what a device can and can’t do. Sidestep a similar dilemma by testing out a new implementation strategy. From taking a close look at the data to identifying your company's biggest need, the following three tips can help you maximize IoT innovation for your business.

Determine What Needs Work

It may be tempting to usher in new technology, especially when just about everyone else is. Rather, but rather than rushing through the decision-making process, however, consider which connected devices are best for your business. After all, the IoT can introduce more than a few benefits.

Approximately four out of five organizations experience an increase in business efficiency and innovation following IoT adoption. For example, tracking driver hours electronically may prove less burdensome. Not only can manually entering hours take up precious time, but it can even lead to inaccuracies. By automatically logging hours whenever a piece of equipment is operated, connected technology paves the way for seamless data collection.

While you may have a good idea of which problems are most pressing, it’s always helpful to hear from others in your organization. Invite staff members to offer any insight they have about the needs of the business. Better yet, schedule office hours to discuss the most important areas for improvement. Creating an ongoing conversation will help shed light on the top technology needs for your business.

Secure Staff Support

While it’s often said that millennials job hop far more than previous generations, recent research tells a different story. Namely’s 2017 HR Mythbusters Report lists the median job tenure for workers between the ages of 35 and 55 as just below 2 years. When compared with the average of 1.42 years for millennials, the gap isn’t as big as some might assume.

Take advantage of this surprising statistic; keep employees of all ages around for the long haul by explaining how connected technology may impact your business. Detailed demonstrations can help workers understand why upcoming changes are taking place and ultimately boost engagement. Instead of feeling unsure about the direction of your company, employees will be ready to make the IoT and telematics devices part of their daily routine.

Do you want to gain employee buy-in faster than ever before? Ask for a little help from younger workers who may be more familiar with or interested in connected technology. The more tech-savvy employees you have, the easier it will be to get others up to speed on the IoT. Once the new technology is in place, tracking jobsite activity will be a breeze for both you and your employees. Real-time data like geolocation can help put an end to any confusion regarding where a piece of equipment is or what it’s being used for on the jobsite.

Dive into the Data

Data has the power to drive decision-making. But drawing out valuable insight is often easier said than done. Although 98 percent of organizations that have adopted the IoT believe they can analyze data, an almost equal number admit there are challenges to deriving value from such data, including figuring out which data is most relevant to your business.

Seek out resources designed to enhance your data analysis skills. Short commitments, such as an hour-long webinar or a free online course, can go a long way toward improving your ability to read between the data points. Once you gain a better grasp of the ins and outs of data analysis, reach out to industry peers for a more detailed discussion about data points that are worth paying attention to. Whether it’s the average speed of a vehicle or its utilization rate, narrowing your focus may make it easier to discover valuable insight.

 IoT and telematics devices are already making their mark on the construction industry. Jobsites in almost every corner of the country now feature connected technology. Still, construction managers continue to have trouble taking advantage of all that these innovations have to offer.

 A slow and steady approach to implementation may help yield different results. With enhanced data analysis skills, the support of current employees and an in-depth understanding of your business’ most immediate needs, you can make IoT technology an even bigger part of your organization’s growth strategy.