Don’t give up on IoT just yet if you are having troubles. So says Cisco.

The tech giant shook up the Internet of Things world on Tuesday with news that some 75 percent of IoT projects have or are failing, according to a global survey. The report made headlines around the world. But for those of you who are IoT project leaders and others wanting to pursue IoT, there is hope. Cisco offers tips on how to improve the survival chances of your project.

Here are recommendations from Cisco about “key findings” to help boost chances of IoT success:

1. The “human factor” matters.

IoT may sound like it is all about technology, but human factors like culture, organization, and leadership are critical. In fact, three of the four top factors behind successful IoT projects had to do with people and relationships:

  • Collaboration between IT and the business side was the #1 factor, cited by 54 percent.
  • A technology-focused culture, stemming from top-down leadership and executive sponsorship, was called key by 49 percent.
  • IoT expertise, whether internal or through external partnership, was selected by 48 percent.

In addition, organizations with the most successful IoT initiatives leveraged ecosystem partnerships most widely. They used partners at every phase, from strategic planning to data analytics after rollout.

Despite the strong agreement on the importance of collaboration among IT and business decision-makers, some interesting differences emerged:

  • IT decision-makers place more importance on technologies, organizational culture, expertise, and vendors.
  • Business decision-makers place greatest emphasis on strategy, business cases, processes, and milestones.
  • IT decision-makers are more likely to think of IoT initiatives as successful. While 35 percent of IT decision-makers called their IoT initiatives a complete success, only 15 percent of business decision-makers did.

2. Don’t Go It Alone.

Sixty percent of respondents stressed that IoT initiatives often look good on paper but prove much more difficult than anyone expected. Top five challenges across all stages of implementation: time to completion, limited internal expertise, quality of data, integration across teams, and budget overruns. Our study found that the most successful organizations engage the IoT partner ecosystem at every stage, implying that strong partnerships throughout the process can smooth out the learning curve.

3. Reap the Benefits.

When critical success factors come together, organizations are in position to reap a windfall in smart-data insights.

  • Seventy-three percent of all participants are using data from IoT completed projects to improve their business.
  • Globally the top 3 benefits of IoT include improved customer satisfaction (70%), operational efficiencies (67%) and improved product / service quality (66%).
  • In addition, improved profitability was the top unexpected benefit (39%).

4. Learn from the failures.

Taking on these IoT projects has led to another unexpected benefit: 64 percent agreed that learnings from stalled or failed IoT initiatives have helped accelerate their organization’s investment in IoT.

Despite the challenges, many in our survey are optimistic for the future of IoT – a trend that, for all its forward momentum, is still in its nascent stages of evolution. Sixty-one percent believe that we have barely begun to scratch the surface of what IoT technologies can do for their businesses.