Institutional Dementia At Big Blue?

Why over two-thirds of the Internet of Things projects will fail by Sushil Pramanick (Associate Partner, Consultative Sales, IoT Leader, IBM Analytics).

From the post:

When did you first become interested in the Internet of Things (IoT)? If you’re like me, you’ve probably been following the news related to the IoT for years. As technology lovers, I’ll bet we have a lot in common. We are intensely curious. We are problem-solvers, inventors and perhaps more than anything else, we are relentlessly dedicated to finding better answers to our everyday challenges. The IoT represents a chance for us—the thinkers—to move far beyond the limiting technologies of the past and to unlock new value, new insights and new opportunities.

In mid-2005, Gartner stated that over 50 percent of data warehouse projects failed due to lack of adoption with data quality issues and implementation failures. In 2012, this metric was further scaled back to fewer than 30 percent. The parallelism here is that the Internet of Things hype is similar to data warehouse and business intelligence hype two decades ago when many companies embarked on decentralized reporting and/or basic analytics solutions. The problem was that some companies tried to build in-house, large enterprise data warehouse platforms that were disconnected and inherently had integration and data quality issues. A decade later, 50 percent of these projects failed. Another decade later, another over 20 percent failed. Similarly, companies are now trying to embark on Internet of Things initiatives using very narrow, point-focused solutions with very little enterprise IoT strategy in place, and in some cases, engaging or building unproven solution architectures.

Project failure rates are hardly news. But I mention this to illustrate the failure of institutional memory at IBM.

It wasn’t that many years ago (2008) that IBM published a forty-eight page white paper, Making Change Work, that covers the same ground as Sushil Pramanick.

Do you think think “Consultative Sales, IBM Analytics” doesn’t talk to “IBM Global Business Services?”

Or is IBM’s institutional memory broken up by projects, departments, divisions, and communicated in part by formal documents but also by folklore, rumor and water fountain gossip?

A faulty institutional memory, with missed opportunities, duplicated projects, and a general failure to thrive, won’t threaten the existence of an IBM. At least not right away.

Can you say the same for your organization?

Topic maps can help your organization avoid institutional dementia.


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