Ten Steps that Are Key to Success with an IoT Project

09.06.2023 by Ümit Günes

A stone staircase on a mountain leads up toward the summit.


Cut costs, increase sales, boost productivity. These are targets that can be achieved with a well thought-through IoT project. Ten steps are key to a successful start on the Internet of Things.

Be it in manufacturing, retail or logistics, the Internet of Things (IoT) offers enterprises great potential across the board. But implementation still presents problems. In a survey undertaken by secunet and techconsult only around one company in ten claimed to have realized IoT projects comprehensively. Plans were reportedly hampered mainly by uncertainties about data protection and IT security, by a lack of know-how and by the need for integration into existing IT environments.

IoT projects are indeed often complex, not least because they should always be individually coordinated with existing business models and processes. Yet companies must not and should not capitulate to the challenge. This article shows how you can implement your IoT projects successfully step by step.   

1. Define the Challenge You Want to Overcome by Means of a Digitization Strategy

The reasons for embarking on an IoT project are many and varied. Cutting costs, offering new service models or taking digital transformation forward are but a few of them. Don’t try to meet all of the challenges at once. Companies that as yet have no experience of the Internet of Things find it especially hard to concentrate on one task. It makes sense to collaborate with a reliable partner at an early stage, and practical experience with the IoT must be a key factor in your choice of partner. Experienced partners such as Telekom have an overview of different scenarios and know how to handle different challenges individually with a wide range of products.

IoT as a Solution in (Nearly) All Cases

Many enterprises are already aware that the Internet of Things can offer them many benefits. But which challenges can they tackle specifically with the aid of this technology? The following is a short selection of areas and use cases in which cross-sectoral IoT solutions are available:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Resource management
  • Automation and process optimization
  • Cost savings
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Process optimization
  • Supply chain optimization
  • Competitive advantages


2. Specify an Application Scenario for Your IoT Project

As soon as you have identified a challenge you must describe the right application scenario precisely. You will find scenarios for connecting machines and things across your company’s entire value chain – from external logistics via production to marketing and customer service. Concentrate on a use case and define a clear target. IoT solutions are complex and must be integrated into the company’s overall strategy. In this process don’t forget your customers and your customers’ customers.

3. Take Your Employees With You on the Road to Digitization

When new technologies are being introduced it is important to involve employees actively in the process. Digital transformation will only succeed if they understand why the technology is necessary and that it assists them with their work. The aim must be for your employees to accept the new technology, to embrace it as a part of their working day and to advocate it to your customers. In the best case, trained management staff will lead employees toward the new project.

4. Set up a Team That Deals Solely With This Project

Qualified employees are another important component in making a success of your IoT project. According to a study entitled “The Internet of Things among German SMBs in 2019: Importance, Application Areas and Status of Implementation” and commissioned by Deutsche Telekom from the market research institute PAC, many companies are still reluctant to use the IoT. One reason is that their employees lack the skills required. So motivation to implement IoT projects is low. As is clear from the previous points IoT projects are complex. So choose employees who are to work solely on this project. In the best case they will have previous experience of networking. Otherwise providing training is worthwhile. This first major expense will bear dividends in the long term when you scale the project and launch further IoT solutions.

5. Consider How You Can Best Integrate the IoT Solution Into Your Company’s Ecosystems in the Long Term

To ensure that the input in your first IoT project is sustainable you should consider from the start how you can make long-term use of the IoT solution for your company. And make sure that the software and IoT devices work for future projects – by choosing the right IoT platform, for example.

Illustration of the 10 steps for a successful IoT project


6. Choose the Right Platform for Your IoT Project and Carry Out Tests

Choosing the right platform is most important, especially with further developments in mind. To prevent vulnerabilities you should with your first IoT deployment lay foundations on which you can build future IoT projects. For this complex and futureproof software Cloud-based IoT platforms like Telekom’s Cloud of Things are suitable. It is available in three versions and can in this way be adjusted to individual requirements. Initial tests will show whether the platform in question is the right match for your company. Your employees can thereby familiarize themselves with the new platform and will know how to implement subsequent projects.

7. Define the Value Chain Data You Want to Evaluate and Where

In order to get clear results from the IoT platform you need the right data. If, for instance, the challenge you have defined is to reduce costs along your supply chain you must specify exactly that is to happen. Data that connected devices such as the Low Cost Tracker collect show whether the routes taken by your delivery vehicles are efficient enough or help your warehouse employees to locate goods faster. An experienced partner can advise you on how you can cut costs most effectively with this technology.

8. Find the Right Data Transmission

Connectivity is the basis of a successful IoT project in that on the Internet of Things everything is connected. But not every technology is suitable for every solution. So you need to know at the earliest stage possible which transmission standard you require for your IoT equipment. In principle the technologies differ in their ranges and location capabilities. To be sure that the IoT solution the connectivity match, you can opt for an all-in-one solution. Telekom’s Business Smart Connect, for example, offers a variety of all-inclusive tariffs with connectivity for the entire wireless network, including 2G, LTE, and Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT), a standard specially developed for IoT applications.

9. Take Into Account at the Development Stage the Soft- And Hardware Security Requirements

IoT solutions, like so many others, are regularly at the receiving end of cyberattacks. That is why it is important, as in choosing the right platform, to define at the outset and to implement standards that afford protection from risks in subsequent projects. The more independently operating IoT devices you use, the greater the risk of vulnerabilities. Providing security at a later date will cost you time and money.

10. Keep a Close Eye on the Rollout and Always Be Ready to Optimize

Have you heeded all of these points and is your IoT project about to go live? Then start the rollout and ask yourself the following questions: Is the project running how I envisioned it? Are all the in-house processes connected and working the way I want them to? Does the project deliver added value for my company or my customers? If your answer to all of these questions is Yes you have successfully implemented your first IoT project and can now scale it, develop your digital transformation and place yourself successfully in the market.


Walkthrough Solutions for Your IoT Project

Walkthrough Solutions for Your IoT Project

From advice on IoT hardware, networking and implementation to the right Cloud application and analytical tools, thanks to our global network and partner ecosystem we can provide single-source end-to-end solutions for your IoT project.

More about Walkthrough Solutions

From advice on IoT hardware, networking and implementation to the right Cloud application and analytical tools, thanks to our global network and partner ecosystem we can provide single-source end-to-end solutions for your IoT project.

More about Walkthrough Solutions

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Ümit Günes
Ümit Günes

Marketing Manager IoT

Having been with Telekom since 2008, Ümit possesses a comprehensive understanding of various facets of the Internet of Things. He has a keen interest in the digital transformation of the business world. On this blog, he shares insights into the latest developments and trends in the IoT sector that provide genuine value to customers.