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How to Build an IIoT Business Case That Decision-Makers Will Accept


Statistics show that 98% of enterprises intend to pursue a digital-first approach to optimize their business processes. This, alone, makes a case for the widespread acceptance of digital transformation. But digital transformation comes in different forms. For some, the integration of cloud computing or data analytics tech represents that transformation while for others the implementation of IIoT solutions could be the priority. The task of choosing from these competing technologies and convincing management of the advantages requires extensive research, and in this post, tips for building an IIoT business case will be discussed in detail.

This article will discuss:

  • Tips for building a business case for IIoT implementation using data
  • How to convincingly showcase the ROI on IIoT through case studies  
  • Tips for outlining the value-added propositions IIoT brings to the table  


IIoT business case building through data

Hard facts simplify the task of convincing decision-makers about anything including the importance of IIoT. The McKinsey report ‘Unlocking the power of data in sales’ puts the importance of data as a key part of making business cases in perspective. According to the report, the best sales organizations and individuals make use of analytics more effectively than the competition and, make no mistake; building an IIoT business case involves selling.

Thus, a successful business case must consist of data highlighting the importance of IIoT and how others continue to take advantage of it. You can find the numbers that answer important questions for your IIoT business case here:

  • If creating PowerPoints or answering questions about the adoption rate of IIoT in manufacturing and other industries, you can find accurate answers to these questions in the McKinsey report on the state of IIoT. Statistics such as the percentage of individuals interested in using IIoT for monitoring or predictive maintenance should help with fine-tuning whatever business case you are trying to make.
  • To discuss or provide answers on the size of the IIoT market, industry players, and spending, which provides some indication of what your competitors are doing, Gartner’s insights on how to lead in an interconnected world can help.

With these data, you should be able to create an outline of your business case for IIoT implementation.


Determining the challenges the IIoT implementation intends to solve

IIoT and the digital transformation it brings are all subsets of Industrie 4.0 and the drive to building a more interconnected factory or smart facility. Thus, knowledge of Industrie 4.0 business models, how they are applied, and the role IIoT plays in their application is needed to develop a solid IIoT business case.

An understanding of the different Industrie 4.0 business models also refines your adoption and implementation strategy as it helps you pick specific subject matters you intend to enhance with IIoT. These subject matters could involve the data capturing niche, computing niche, integrating preventive measures or optimizing productivity. To aid your search for a definitive reason to embrace IIoT, here is some information that may help:


  • There are 8 Industrie 4.0 business models or concepts that provide a platform for the application of IIoT. These business models include data-driven inventory optimization, predictive maintenance, and data-driven plant performance optimization. You can learn more about these business models from this article discussing their application for factory owners here.
  • The process of applying each of these business models has also been explained in detail, as well as their benefits. Every topic within this sub-folder highlights the benefit of each of the 8 Industrie 4.0 business models and gives you a glimpse into the role of IIoT in enhancing industrial processes.
  • You can also learn more about the challenges IIoT implementations can tackle within the shop floor by going through this extensive study by Deloitte on the interconnected factory, downtime, and predictive maintenance.
  • The cybersecurity challenges that come with IIoT implementations must also be included in your business case. This is because dealing with cybersecurity threats in today’s world is inevitable and must be a key consideration for any IIoT business case. You can learn more about the security challenges IIoT implementations face from this report.


The details contained within these materials can serve as the pilot that guides you in determining what challenges you intend to solve with IIoT. A generic approach to IIoT business case building is unlikely to convince management to consider it. Thus specialize by picking an Industrie 4.0 business model and expand on how IIoT can be used to design an implementable solution around that model.


Outline the ROI and value-added proposition in your IIoT business case

The numbers matter to management and stakeholders in every business. Here, the numbers refer to the expected revenue generation and business growth IIoT promises. Once again, you will be expected to provide hard facts or data to back up any claims you make. When talking about numbers, generic benefits such as “edge devices will increase data collection rate” will not cut it. Decision-makers want to hear that setting up the IIoT network will cost $50,000 and this will translate to a 40% increase in productivity or revenue growth.

This means you must have the numbers for the IIoT implementation process in place and predictions of the expected returns using case studies to back these predictions. You can find case studies on IIoT implementation and the cost of setting up an IIoT framework here:


  • Many businesses struggle with deciding whether to use an IoT platform or build one from scratch. The data about what it costs to build an IoT platform against subscribing to a vendor’s platform has been covered in detail here by NETWORKWORLD.
  • You can also find more information on the cost of building an Industrial IoT platform, the expectations to have, and challenges that must be overcome in this article by Thinkmobiles.
  • Setting up an IIoT architecture comes with the need to choose smart edge devices and IoT platforms for managing them. You can learn more about smart technology and go through diverse available options as well as to inquire about cost here.
  • Lastly, data about the benefits and value-added proposition IIoT brings to manufacturing shop floors has been discussed in detail throughout the sub-folder highlighted in the second section. You can also find more information from this article by Gartner.



Making a business case for the implementation of IIoT involves painstaking research to produce information covering every question that may come up during your pitch. Here, we have provided the data which should serve as a basis for excellent IIoT business case building and successfully convincing any naysayers on their benefits.


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