Maximizing the business potential of IoT


By E.G. Nadhan

It was a wonderful experience presenting on IoT along with other distinguished speakers at the Feb 2016 Monthly eSummit. Interestingly enough, even before I started, there was an intriguing question posed in the session that preceded mine about the Return of Investment on IoT. A really good question given that digital transformation is most effective when executed based upon key business drivers. Technology — including IoT — must not be adopted for technology’s sake. In my session, keeping this question in mind, I walked through the five key steps that enterprises must take in order to make IoT real. These steps ensure an open, innovative, standards-based, connected and secure environment that maximizes the potential to realize tangible business value from the data gathered by the devices — continuous data sources in their own right.

  • Embed the next-generation platform that drives open standards and innovation. Given the myriad set of devices sprouting up across the environment, it is important that the devices themselves are living a platform that is open by design and standardized. Standardization is key to interoperability which can foster innovations at the intersections of these devices.

  • Integrate the data collected across the ecosystem of devices to channel data that matters to the appropriate enterprise data stores. Data thus collected across these data stores can tell a story with the right context.

  • Analyze the data thus collected to identify patterns and synthesize the right segments into an enterprise wide virtual system of record. Such analysis can be done in-memory and/or in persistent data stores to ensure timely availability of the right information to meet — and exceed — customer expectations.

  • Monitor the health and currency of devices. Insurance providers have to ensure that their data gets a clean bill of health — just like other enterprises. In the same vein, the systems that generate the data — like the IoT devices — have to be in a healthy condition as well with the latest versions of the software running on them.

  • Secure the devices and their environment. Doing so will ensure that the devices become trusted citizens of the ecosystem and graduate from being part of a Circle of Distrust to the human Circle of Trust.

  • There you have it. These are, at a minimum, steps that enterprises can take to continuously process data generated across the IoT ecosystem in a standardized, secure and innovative environment. Doing so will maximize the returns realized from the information thus generated with timely action.

    In a recent article on The Enterprisers ProjectBryson Koehler, the CIO of The Weather Company, asserts “the reason that we’re the world’s most accurate weather forecaster today is because we have the best data coming in to start our forecast.” He goes on to say that The Weather Company has been using an “early” Internet of Things for many years — a good example of an enterprise not only using IoT devices but also the data gathered to realize tangible business value.

    Great example of an enterprise using IoT right. And the forecast for ROI from IoT will look really good for enterprises that take the steps outlined above.

    What say you?

    How is the forecast for IoT in your enterprise? Are there other steps that enterprises can take to maximize the ROI of IoT? Please let me know. Meanwhile, let me reach out to The Weather Company to check the forecast in my neck of the woods!

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