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The original SMART system was designed in the 1990s to help computer users avoid unexpected hard drive crashes. In the subsequent decades, this idea of “Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology” has flourished and expanded far beyond the 1s and 0s on magnetic platters. The concept — and lowercase version of the name — is now applied to everything from coffeemakers to buildings to sustainability efforts.
Smart devices have assimilated easily into consumers’ lives, but enterprises often labor to integrate this approach into organizational processes and practices. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and machine learning, make smart devices and systems even more powerful and effective. The complexity hampers organizational efforts to become the smart enterprises needed to compete and succeed long-term. However, best practices have been developed to help tame the complexity.
1. Establish guiding principles
Enterprises risk wandering aimlessly if they don’t create a map to guide them in the right direction. This step is particularly critical to smart technologies since they rely heavily on interconnectedness. One wrong turn can throw you completely off course.
An organization’s guiding principles must include:
Construction —Incorporate sustainability in every step of the process; prioritize efficiency in all areas; secure the users’ needs; adapt to changing preferences; and engage with the user and community in a meaningful way.
Technology — Secure and protect all entry points through advanced cybersecurity; learn from data to anticipate the needs of users and facilities, and ensure accessibility and interoperability throughout the organization.