Bjorn Andersson

7 Questions to Ask IoT Vendors That Will Accelerate Your Organization's Digital Transformation

Blog Post created by Bjorn Andersson Employee on Aug 9, 2018

Guest Contributor: Carrie MacGillivray, Group Vice President, Internet of Things, IDC


One of the most important – and often overlooked – aspects of IoT program implementation is the experience of the vendors you select and their willing to collaborate. This blog, authored by Carrie MacGillivray, IDC Group Vice President, Internet of Things, identifies key questions to ask potential IoT team members to make sure you engage partners that will readily share their expertise and hold the best interest of your organization as their primary goal.

- Bjorn



In today's rapidly changing and competitive landscape, organizations must digitally transform to keep up. There are many ways in which organizations are addressing digital transformation (DX), ranging from changing digital experiences for their customers, digitally enabling their workers or digitally empowering operations. One technology that is integral to DX is the Internet of Things (IoT). By connecting things and extracting data from those things, organizations can gain access to real-time information which enables agile, nimble decision making. According to IDC research, 45% of all DX projects are built upon the Internet of Things.


However, it is nearly impossible to achieve IoT and DX goals by going it alone. Most organizations simply do not have the experience or skillsets to build out the digital solutions to support their transformation. It is crucial to find a vendor partner that is committed to helping your organization achieve its long-term DX goals through tight collaboration and knowledge sharing. While there are many vendors who provide some of the building blocks upon which DX can be enabled, it's of paramount importance to find a partner that has interests beyond just the nuts and bolts of a single product or point solution.


It's also important to consider a vendor partner that is invested in working with you to co-create a solution that fits your specific business needs. The concept of co-creation encourages multiple different vested parties to come together and jointly produce a solution that achieves a specific outcome. In the context of DX, the most effective way to accelerate this process via IoT is to engage with a partner that offers co-creation services that balance innovation, customization and speed of delivery. When evaluating co-creation partners, you should look for key capabilities and characteristics including:

  • A proven track record of collaboration and innovation with other reference customers
  • A broad solution set and the associated tools needs to bring the solution to life
  • A team that is technically savvy with industry-specific experience


To help find the right co-creation partner that will help your organization on its DX journey, IDC suggests you ask these 7 questions when evaluating a vendor:

  1. Does this vendor have deep knowledge of your industry?
  2. Does this vendor have experience bringing together IT solutions with vertically specific (or industrial) requirements in mind?
  3. Does this vendor have a portfolio of solutions that meet the technical needs of your specific project?
  4. Does this vendor have an "open" approach to collaborating with its customers?
  5. Does this vendor have a robust partner ecosystem from which it can leverage expertise, solutions and applications to bolster the project they are co-creating with your organization?
  6. Does this vendor have technologies and methods that will accelerate the co-creation process?
  7. Does this vendor have previous co-creation successes that demonstrate its ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with its customers?


Using these questions as a guide will help you find the right partner to co-create an innovative solution that will be foundational to achieving your organization's DX goals.




Guest Contributor Profile

Carrie MacGillivray is Group Vice President responsible for providing leadership to IDC's global IoT research. Carrie co-founded the Internet of Things research domain at IDC in 2012 and is responsible for leading thought leadership on this evolving market. She works with IDC's global IoT team consisting of technology and industry analysts to drive research on the supply and demand elements at play in the IoT market. Carrie was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the IoT by Onalytica, July 2017 and one of the top 25 most influential women in IoT by the Internet of Things Institute, September 2016.