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Use M2M to outpace the competition: The 4-step guide for Kiwi firms

Use M2M to outpace the competition: The 4-step guide for Kiwi firms

‘The whole organisation has to be willing to work with IT,’ stresses Justin Nelson of Vodafone.

New Zealand is held up as a market which defines the power of what is possible through machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, says Justin Nelson of Vodafone.

A recent IDC study ranks New Zealand as third highest in terms of IoT connections per capita for APAC (excluding Japan), says Nelson, head of Vodafone’s M2M practice in the Asia Pacific region.

“Every business – small or big, commodity or premium, click or mortar – can leverage M2M technologies to get better at what they do,” he states.

“M2M technologies can really change the game plans for many different types of organisations,” says Nelson.

For organisations aiming to maximise their investments in M2M, he says four steps need to be in place:

Related: The Internet of Things outpaces other technologies: IDC

One: 'Benchmark your progress'

“Your response will depend on your organisation and its strategy, but we believe that the first step is always to benchmark where you are against other companies in your industry and your region,” says Nelson.

“If you’re a laggard or a rejector while your peers are pioneers, is that a strategic decision, or have you simply been outpaced by the market? Does that matter to you?”

Two: 'Make M2M a strategic priority – define your use case!'

Read more: Unfazed by rapid change

Those that see the best ROI make M2M central to their overall strategy, with appropriate resources and funding, he states.

“One of the companies we spoke to in the [IDC] research allocated 50 per cent of its total IT budget to M2M. There are also likely to be many projects - internal and external – underway,” he states.

Nelson says ambition plays a big part in M2M success. “Those that get the greatest ROI are those looking for significant process innovation and major transformation, not just incremental efficiency improvements.”

“Our expert advice: Understand clearly what you are setting out for, and know that if you want to achieve, you need to commit.”

Three: 'Board level backing'

Read more: Customer experience is the new competitive battlefield

Culture is a difficult thing to change. Organisations achieving success with M2M projects are those that have a champion for the initiative at a senior level on the business, he stresses.

“A strong C-level leader can help bring all the different parts of the organisation into line to make change happen, and to encourage users to adopt the new system once it is live.”

Businesses that already have an innovation culture can drive change faster and with greater effect, he adds.

M2M can deliver the strongest benefits when processes change, he states. For instance, how a retailer reorders stock, or how a clinician handles checkups with patients.

“But these depend on people making full use of the opportunities these changes afford,” he states. “ The whole organisation has to be willing to work with IT.”

Related: Gartner executives Denildo Albuquerque and David Spaziani share pointers for effective CIO and board interactions</b>

Read more: The State of the CIO 2015: The digital mindshift

Four: 'Identify the right execution partner'

Be realistic about the barriers ahead and how they’ll change over time, he says. “Every major IT and business-process initiative involves risks and costs.

“Choosing the right provider can help manage the costs of developing M2M and overcome many of the other challenges — such as technical integration, global delivery and security. “

M2M and IoT implementations usually require a delivery ecosystem, he concludes.

“Make sure you get your top team together to ensure they help drive the outcomes your business is looking for.”

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

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