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What is PoC? Easy-to-understand explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of introducing and how to proceed!

Some readers have heard that “PoC should be introduced!”, but there may be some who do not know much about PoC.

PoC is mainly used in the IT, AI, and medical industries, so if you are in other industries, you may not be familiar with it.

This time, we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of PoC, the procedure to introduce it, etc. in an easy-to-understand manner.

Table of Contents

  • What is PoC
  • 5 benefits of introducing PoC
    • reduce risk
    • Reduce development costs and labor
    • know the feasibility
    • Cost-effectiveness can be verified
    • Smoother decision-making for investments, releases, etc.
  • Disadvantages of introducing PoC
  • 4 steps to proceed with PoC
    • Clarify the purpose of conducting PoC
    • Formulation of verification methods and specific verification details
    • PoC implementation
    • Consider whether to introduce
  • Five important points for conducting PoC
    • Verification under conditions close to actual operation
    • Collect market evaluation and improve
    • Not intended for PoC
    • start small
    • Don’t leave everything to outsourcing without knowing the PoC at all
  • Explaining examples of AI and medical industries that have introduced PoC
    • AI industry
    • medical industry
  • summary

What is PoC

PoC is an abbreviation of “Proof of Concept”, which translates to “concept verification” in Japanese.

To put it simply, PoC is to verify, before introducing any new idea or technology, whether it is effective or whether there is any merit in implementing it. I can say

For example, when considering the introduction of AI technology, which has few precedents, I do not know how much merit and effect it will have.

Therefore, it is important to test hypotheses in advance and determine whether they will work.

5 benefits of introducing PoC

Introducing PoC has the following five advantages.

  1. reduce risk
  2. Reduce development costs and labor
  3. know the feasibility
  4. Cost-effectiveness can be verified
  5. Smoother decision-making for investments, releases, etc.

I will explain each.

reduce risk

When introducing and utilizing new technology to give shape to new ideas, if you proceed with the project without knowing whether it will work or not, there is a high possibility that human resources and funds will be wasted. prize.

If you do PoC in such a case, you can reduce the risk of investing in wasted funds and materials as much as possible.

Failure at the PoC stage means that we didn’t have to make a big investment, and that we didn’t have to make a big loss.

Reduce development costs and labor

In order to proceed with development to give shape to new ideas, costs and labor such as funds are required. Also, if the planning is prolonged, the cost and effort that must be allocated will increase.

On the other hand, if you verify with PoC in advance and judge whether it is feasible or not, you do not need to waste money and effort, so you can reduce costs.

In addition, it is possible to estimate not only whether it is feasible, but also how much man-hours will be required in the verification process, such as long-term planning, which leads to reduction of waste.

know the feasibility

In giving form to an idea, knowing the feasibility of it also helps avoid risks, so it can be said to be a great advantage.

Even if you proceed to give shape to an idea, it is good to proceed, but if you fail, you cannot return to the original. The same is true when developing new systems. For example, you can avoid situations such as “It’s technically possible, but it didn’t work well when I tried to make it.”

Cost-effectiveness can be verified

It is very difficult from a management point of view to carry out a PoC and realize it in earnest unless we can predict to some extent how much effect will be obtained for the amount of investment.

It takes a huge amount of money to shape an idea or develop a system, and if you can’t get a return that exceeds your investment, you’re at a loss.

In addition to development, it will also be important to see how much costs can be reduced when new technologies are introduced.

It would be meaningless if the high investment resulted in a huge cost instead of solving the problem. Therefore, it is a great advantage to be able to verify cost-effectiveness through PoC.

Smoother decision-making for investments, releases, etc.

You can check the cost effectiveness and feasibility from the data obtained from the PoC verification, making it easier to decide whether to invest in it and release it.

Making investment decisions without a PoC inevitably entails high risks, and new technologies such as AI in particular may have few precedents, and it is difficult to predict how effective they will be.

If you try it on a small scale and judge whether it is cost-effective or not, you will be able to make a smooth decision.

Disadvantages of introducing PoC

A disadvantage of introducing PoC is that the cost increases depending on the number of verifications.

In fact, it is not possible to obtain enough data to determine the effect from a single verification, so verification will be performed multiple times.

Depending on the scale of verification, the cost of PoC will increase, so try to divide the verification into smaller stages as much as possible.

Another reason is that the purpose of the PoC is not clear, so the PoC is tiring. It’s not uncommon for the person in charge of the PoC to get tired of the PoC by trying to improve the correct answer.

4 steps to proceed with PoC

The four steps required to proceed with the PoC are:

  1. Clarify the purpose of conducting PoC
  2. Formulation of verification methods and specific verification details
  3. PoC implementation
  4. Consider whether to introduce

I will explain each.

Clarify the purpose of conducting PoC

Before conducting a PoC, first clarify what you want to verify.

If you implement PoC without any purpose, no matter how small it is, it will be a waste of money and a waste of time.

In general, PoC is performed to judge the feasibility of introduction based on the verification results, such as cost reduction and cost effectiveness. Therefore, we have to clarify what we want to verify before proceeding with PoC.

Formulation of verification methods and specific verification details

If you are doing a PoC to consider the introduction of new technology, be prepared to compare what has changed before and after the introduction.

There should be multiple benefits that can be obtained by introducing it, such as cost, time, and labor. It would be nice to be able to see what changed later.

PoC implementation

After deciding on the verification method and verification details, conduct a PoC. When we do PoC, we can find issues that we had not seen before because we had only thought about them on paper.

It will be easier to improve if we get feedback from people who actually used it or third parties.

Consider whether to introduce

Consider whether to introduce the technology or system based on the data obtained from the results of the PoC.

If the results and returns are sufficiently commensurate with the investment, you should proceed with the plan in earnest.

In particular, large projects related to new technology introduction and development cannot fail, so we will verify with PoC to prevent loss.

When introducing it, consider it while referring to the PoC data.

Five important points for conducting PoC

The following five points are important when conducting PoC.

  1. Verification under conditions close to actual operation
  2. Collect market evaluation and improve
  3. Not intended for PoC
  4. start small
  5. Don’t leave everything to outsourcing without knowing the PoC at all

I will explain each.

Verification under conditions close to actual operation

When conducting PoC, verify under conditions close to the actual environment.

By doing it in an environment that is as close to production as possible, it is possible to obtain accurate data.

Also, even if a problem does occur, since it is possible to know that it is an event that is likely to occur when it is actually installed, if you can solve it, it will be difficult for the problem to occur after installation.

Collect market evaluation and improve

When conducting a PoC in an environment close to production, “gathering market evaluation” is a very important point.

By getting feedback from people who have actually used the product, you will be able to clearly recognize from an objective point of view the points for improvement of the product and the strengths of your company that differ from your competitors.

Once a problem is discovered after full-scale introduction, there is no turning back, so it is necessary to thoroughly improve the points for improvement found in the PoC before making a decision.

Not intended for PoC

PoC is just a verification. We will verify whether the idea is feasible and whether the technology will be cost-effective when introduced, and then make a decision.

PoC is not a goal, it is just a process to achieve the goal. If you implement a PoC just because you want to do something with new technology, the PoC itself becomes the goal.

Let’s make a solid plan and proceed, such as thinking about the steps after verification.

start small

Since PoC is only a verification, it may not go well. Even if you try to adjust it again when it doesn’t go well, it takes time to prepare, and a lot of effort is required to verify it.

Therefore, it is important to start PoC from as small a stage as possible. By doing so, PoC can proceed smoothly, and costs such as labor and time can be minimized.

Don’t leave everything to outsourcing without knowing the PoC at all

When it is decided to conduct PoC in-house, there are times when it is outsourced to a support company because there is no one who has knowledge about PoC.

There is no problem with outsourcing itself, but it is not recommended to throw it all away without knowing anything about PoC.

This is because it becomes difficult to grasp the real-time situation, and the cost to be paid to the subcontractor becomes relatively high.

Also, when outsourcing PoC, it is necessary to find an appropriate outsourcing partner, as strengths and weaknesses differ depending on the PoC support project. You have to be careful because you can proceed without finding the appropriate subcontractor and cause trouble.

Explaining examples of AI and medical industries that have introduced PoC

From here, we will introduce the “ AI industry ” and the “ medical industry ” as actual examples of PoC implementations.

AI industry

AI technology is still unprecedented in many cases, and when introducing technology, it is necessary to verify whether it will work effectively.

Many companies are actually interested in AI technology. However, there are many cases where we get tired of doing PoC of the technology and stop moving forward. As I mentioned earlier, it is important to proceed with PoC with a clear purpose.

It is also necessary to carefully consider whether the technology we are considering introducing is suitable for solving the problem and proceed smoothly with the PoC.

medical industry

In the medical industry, there is a verification called PoC, which refers to a part of the clinical trial to verify whether it is effective in humans while developing a new drug.

Since the verification results are what advances the development of the company, for the drug discovery venture company, it is an opportunity to strengthen the alliance with the pharmaceutical company and to grow the company.summary

A PoC is a critical step when new ideas and technology are introduced on a small scale to determine if they can be brought to fruition.

If you do a PoC, you will be able to understand important things such as cost-effectiveness during the verification process when deciding on future policies.

Don’t waste money on a series of aimless PoCs or cause PoC fatigue, let’s move on to the next step.

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