Technologies and methods based on the Internet of Things (IoT) support the planning, implementation and optimisation of manufacturing and communication processes based on real-time data. They also constitute the prerequisites for initiating flexible, agile and decentralised decision-making and organisation processes and automating large parts of logistics and manufacturing. At the same time, effectively deployed Industry 4.0 and IoT technologies are an important driver of new business models, products and services, and thus a core element of digital transformation.
The starting point for a sustainable and viable IoT and Industry 4.0 strategy is a complete and objective view of the potential and implementation hurdles in the company with regard to industrial digitization. In practice, a systematic maturity analysis has proven successful. The method ensures transparency and makes it possible to evaluate the initial situation in a structured manner, collect ideas, and also derive improvement and development approaches. Here, fields of action are prioritised and an initial roadmap is created with concrete implementation measures.
The IoT pyramid is used as a general heuristic. This maps the sequential stages of digitization and serves as a reference frame for both the maturity level observation and the derivation of the individual IoT roadmap. The IoT pyramid also functions as a methodological basis for the IoT scan developed by ROI.
Based on several hundred projects, cross-industrial benchmarks, and comprehensive technology and organisational expertise, ROI has developed a methodical and didactically sound instrument for measuring the IoT maturity of companies.
The IoT scan considers the design fields that can be influenced by the company itself in terms of organisational structure, IT landscape, corporate culture and process resources. The IoT scan concentrates on the skills necessary to take steps in each individual area towards a higher IoT maturity level.
On the one hand, it considers the responsibilities relevant for the transformation – such as controlling, purchasing, development, maintenance, logistics, manufacturing, quality, supply chain, sales or plant planning. On the other hand, the available material resources and capabilities – such as experience, system thinking, interdisciplinary thinking, data based learning, data based decision, data interfaces, and data preprocessing – are examined. The IoT scan is modular and can be optimally adapted to the individual corporate situation by preselecting the relevant variables.
The IoT scan is carried out in three phases
- In the first step, the degree of maturity is determined according to the current Industry 4.0 development stage. A mix of methods is used, including workshops, site inspections and questionnaire evaluations. The evaluations of individual processes are aggregated in such a way that valid statements about the IoT maturity level of both individual areas and the overall company can be quickly provided.
- Building on this, and based on the external and internal best practices and the analysis results of the first phase, the development stages to be achieved within the IoT pyramid are determined. For this purpose, the actual and target capabilities are defined and prioritised together with external experts and those responsible for the relevant business areas.
- In the third phase, an initial roadmap is finally created with fields of action prioritised in terms of benefits and cost/complexity and brought into line with the overall strategy of thecompany. The individual measures are derived from this, thus creating the basis for a step-by-step restructuring of the entrepreneurial skills.