Overcoming IoT Implementation Challenges: Tips for a Successful Deployment


Kevin Ashton, MIT’s Executive Director of Auto-ID Labs, officially coined the term “Internet of Things” (IoT) in 1999. However, the roots of IoT applications trace back to the early 1980s. An early example involved programmers at Carnegie Mellon connecting a Coca-Cola machine to the Internet for remote inventory checks before purchasing drinks in 1982.

Other noteworthy examples of early IoT applications or precursor technologies include:

       Omnitracs sold the first 5,000 units of its satellite-based asset tracking system to Schneider National in 1989.

       John Romkey and Simon Hackett created an Internet toaster by connecting a Sunbeam Deluxe Automatic Radiant Control Toaster to the Internet in 1990.

       Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a branch of the DoD, implemented RFID technology to improve the visibility and efficiency of its supply chain in the mid-1990s.

       LG introduced the first smart refrigerator, Internet Digital DIOS, in June 2000.


These pioneering initiatives laid the foundation for the rapid proliferation of IoT devices which reached over 13 billion in 2022. Ericsson’s IoT Connections Outlook Report anticipates a continued surge in connected devices, projecting the number of IoT connections to exceed 34 billion by 2028. This growth in IoT adoption has fundamentally reshaped our interaction with the digital world, influencing everything from using smart speakers in households to AI-powered dashcams in vehicles.

As the landscape of IoT continues its rapid evolution, it becomes crucial to understand the challenges that companies encounter in implementing IoT technologies.

IoT Implementation Challenges

Implementing IoT poses many challenges like addressing issues related to data security and privacy, ensuring scalability and effective data management, and managing device reliability. These challenges are compounded by numerous factors, such as operating environments, organizational resource and skill gaps, and the need for thoughtful systems integration when deploying IoT solutions.

Examples of key IoT Implementation Challenges include:

1)     Data Security and Privacy: IoT devices are vulnerable to hacking and data breaches. Ensuring that your IoT provider has the technology and processes in place to provide the security and privacy of data transmitted and stored is crucial. Refer to our “Navigating the Data Privacy Landscape” blog for a more detailed discussion of data security and privacy.


2)     Scalability & Data Management: As IoT deployments grow, managing vast amounts of data will be challenging without robust data analytics capabilities. Refer to our “IoT Data Analytics: Transforming Bytes into Insights” blog for a more detailed discussion of how data analytics enables organizations to extract valuable insights from the voluminous data set generated by connected devices.


3)     Device Management & Reliability: Managing and updating IoT devices via Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware updates over their lifecycle is critical to provide enhanced functionality and reliability. OTA updates enable IoT providers to add new features, fix bugs, and update security.


4)     Operating Environments: IoT devices are deployed in a wide range of operating environments ranging from trackers installed in vehicles to devices monitoring equipment or assets in remote outdoor areas. Devices that experience extreme conditions face heightened risks of wear and tear. Factors like temperature extremes, humidity, and exposure to corrosive substances will significantly impact the reliability and performance of IoT devices over time.


5)     Resource & Skill Gaps: A shortage of skilled personnel for IoT implementation and management can be a challenge. For instance, a 2022 Construction Equipment survey conducted revealed that many construction firms utilizing telematics are not fully capturing their benefits. 58% of respondents reported having either no dedicated resource (40%) or only a part-time individual (18%) responsible for managing their telematics data.


6)     Systems Integration (SI): Integrating IoT with existing legacy systems can be complex and may require significant updates. If these capabilities are not available internally, companies may need to partner with SI firms that specialize in integrating different hardware, software, systems, and processes. Their knowledge can help companies avoid common pitfalls and ensure successful project execution.


7)     Return on Investment (ROI): The initial capital investment and/or ongoing operating expenses of IoT implementations can be a material expense, increasing the imperative on delivering successful IoT deployments. As an example of the ROI possibilities, a leading telematics provider reported that 55% of fleets using an asset tracking solution reported a positive ROI in less than a year.

Tips for a Successful Deployment

Implementing IoT solutions can drive step-change improvements for businesses, offering real-time data, automation, theft prevention & recovery, and improved decision-making capabilities. However, successful IoT deployments require careful planning and execution, and they come with their own set of challenges.      Navigating these challenges and optimizing the benefits of IoT can be achieved by following four essential tips for successful IoT deployment:

1)     Start with a Clear Strategy: Begin by defining your goals & objectives, the problems you aim to solve, and the expected outcomes given that a well-defined strategy will guide the entire deployment process. As part of this goal-setting process, it’s crucial to have active engagement with key internal stakeholders to understand their workflows and to secure buy-in for performance improvement goals & key metrics. Refer to Table 1 below for sample  key metrics for a field services company:


Table 1

Field Services Company Example

Key Metrics by Department


Key Metrics (examples)

Fleet Mgt.

Operations & Maintenance

Customer Service

Fuel efficiency improvement through optimized route planning and monitoring



Fuel efficiency improvement through reduced idling



Average response time from the initiation of service request to arrival at customer’s home



Average duration of service appointments at customer locations



Vehicle utilization rates: % of time vehicles are in use



Reduction in maintenance costs through predictive maintenance



Reduction in vehicle downtime through predictive maintenance



Customer satisfaction ratings for in-home service experiences



# of customer complaints related to service delays or issues




2)     Define the Budget and Target ROI: Carefully budget for the IoT project and continuously monitor its progress to ensure it delivers the targeted ROI. It is vital to set target ROT metrics to evaluate tangible benefits, allowing companies to measure efficiency and evaluate the success of their IoT initiatives. This dual approach of budget definition and ROI targeting not only fosters financial accountability but also serves as a strategic roadmap, guiding companies to optimize their IoT investment.


3)     Select the Right IoT Provider: Choose an IoT provider that aligns with your strategy and specific needs. This evaluation will include a thorough evaluation of key decision factors such as solution/product fit, scalability, willingness to develop customized solutions, data privacy & security measures, and the provider’s ability to provide the value-added services required to ensure a successful implementation. Other key decision factors include customer support and the provider’s track record for adapting to a rapidly evolving IoT landscape. Refer to Table 2 below for examples of key questions to ask to evaluate a prospective IoT provider:




Table 2

IoT Provider Evaluation: Key Questions


Key Decision Factors

Key Questions (examples)

Solution/Product Fit

  Does the provider offer a range of IoT device options?

  Does the provider have a solution tailored to the specific use case(s)?


  Is the provider willing to customize its solution to your needs or do they use a “one size fits all” approach?


  How does the provider ensure scalability of its solution?

Data Privacy & Security

  Has the provider self-certified to leading data protection standards such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

  Does the provider have robust security measures to protect its customers’ IoT data, including access controls and data privacy & security policies & procedures?

Data Analytics

  Does the provider offer real-time data analytics with imbedded alert notifications so users can immediately respond to issues identified by IoT device-generated data?

  Does the provider’s software use data visualization techniques and dashboards to present analytics results in a user-friendly and actionable format for data-driven decision-making?

Systems Integration

  Does the provider offer a Systems Integration (or Professional Services) option to provide a turn-key solution?

Customer & Technical Support

  How does the provider deliver customer & technical support? Dedicated teams? Outsourced?

  What are their Service Level Agreement (SLA) commitments?


  Does the provider offer AI, Driver Behavior Scores, and other best-in-class capabilities?

  What upcoming new devices or features are on their product roadmap?


4)     Invest in Resources and Training: Invest in the resources required to deliver on the IoT goals & objectives and target ROI and in the training and development for your staff to build the necessary skills to plan, implement, and sustain the IoT deployment. The training should be cross-functional as highlighted in Table 3 below:




Table 3

IoT Training Requirements by Department


Training Requirements (examples)


Operations & Maintenance


Sales & Marketing


Data Privacy & Security Protocols





Data Analytics & Mgt.





Integration / APIs





Firmware Updates





Device Mgt. & Maintenance




Device Troubleshooting




Platform/Software Use




IoT Solution Features & Capabilities

IoT Skill Development




Change Management (Note 1)


Note 1:

The cross-functional training should include Change Management sessions to ensure a smooth transition and acceptance of the IoT technology throughout the company.


Positioning Universal Overview

Positioning Universal (PUI) is the leading global supplier of off-the-shelf and customizable IoT hardware devices, along with GPS vehicle and asset monitoring solutions. PUI also offers Systems Integration services, offering turn-key solutions for seamless implementations that leverage our team’s deep knowledge of the IoT industry.

Systems Integration Services

PUI collaborates with companies to bridge the gap between diverse systems and data sources to deliver tailored solutions that drive efficiency, elevate customer experiences, and boost overall business performance. As the IoT market continues to rapidly evolve, PUI is ready to help businesses across various industries navigate the complexities of IoT implementations, ensuring alignment with strategic visions and operational objectives. With an unwavering commitment to excellence and a rich history of innovation, PUI is a trusted partner to ensure businesses have successful IoT projects and thrive in a connected world.