Stuck in Pilot Purgatory: Understanding and Addressing the Current Challenges of Industrial IoT in Manufacturing

Abbatemarco, Nico
Gaur, Aakanksha
Meregalli, Severino
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The Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) is one of the most hyped concepts embedded in the Industry 4.0 paradigm. IIoT can provide a multitude of benefits to firms, such as enhanced productivity and better insight into company operations. Despite these benefits, manufacturing companies are considerably struggling to realize the potential of IIoT. Several consulting companies, such as McKinsey and Deloitte, coined the term “pilot purgatory” to define the state of being in which most IIoT projects get stuck. Based on a series of interviews with 12 experts in the field, this study identifies and addresses IIoT-specific challenges in manufacturing. Our study provides two main contributions. First, our analysis provides a broad, practice-based overview of IIoT challenges by considering both the technological, organizational and environmental contexts of manufacturing firms, following the TOE framework as a theoretical lens to structure the results. Second, we derive specific management guidelines for each of the identified challenges.
Practice-based IS Research, digital transformation, industrial internet-of-things, industry 4.0, pilot purgatory, practice-based research
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