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The Internet of Things (IoT) has reached peak hype and some enterprises are already discovering that the transformative tech is somewhat of a mixed bag. IoT solutions are helping early adopters improve various aspects of their businesses, according to a Forrester survey of 366 IoT leaders commissioned by SAP and Intel.
Uncovering new opportunities is proving to be more of a challenge, however.
Eighty-three percent of respondents told the research firm that improving customer experiences was a critical or high priority for them. Sixty-eight percent said that IoT will make it easier to address that aim.
"The Internet of Things allows companies to transform into digital enterprises, create previously unimaginable operational efficiencies and digital experiences for customers," said Steve Lucas, president of Platform Solutions at SAP, in a statement.
Business analytics was a major priority for 71 percent of those polled. Seventy-three percent said IoT would help in that regard.
"Firms today are quick to identify opportunities for operational efficiencies from IoT, reflected in perceived IoT benefits and current use cases," observed the study. "However, they are less likely to recognize IoT's potential to transform business models through new product offerings and revenue streams."
Nearly half (46 percent) of the survey takers said they strongly agreed that IoT helps businesses run more efficiently. Yet only 34 percent strongly agreed that IoT paves the way for new business models. Only 31 percent unearthed new IoT-enabled products and revenue streams.
Not only are IoT technologies having an impact on the data center, they're causing upheaval among the executive ranks. At 75 percent of the enterprises surveyed, Forrester found "IoT fragmentation among three or more executive sponsors."
To effectively harness IoT's potential, the study recommends that enterprises plan for the long term while prioritizing individual use cases that provide the best near-term benefits. Organizations can also spare themselves IT management nightmares and security headaches by avoiding a do-it-yourself approach to IoT.
Enterprises can also begin to capitalize on IoT's potential by linking new solutions to their current setups.
"Integrate IoT data and software into existing and back-end business systems and operations," suggested the report. "This will allow you to leverage convergence of data from IoT devices and sensors with business data from back-end systems, for real-time, context-based business decision-making."
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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