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Everyone is talking about the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), but few organizations are getting very far in capitalizing on the exciting new market opportunities created by IoT because they lack a designated executive leader responsible for spearheading their IoT initiatives.
According to a “Software for the Internet of Things Developer Survey,” conducted by Embarcadero Technologies, 77 percent of development teams will have IoT solutions in active development in 2015 with almost half (49 percent) expecting their solutions to have a business impact by the end of the year. This is a big jump from the 12 percent launching IoT solutions in 2014. The survey also found rising customer demand among the top drivers for "Things" solution development in 2015.
However, it is very likely that the proliferation of new IoT software solutions will find far less buyers than the developers expect. Nearly all (96 per cent) of the over 200 technology and business professionals recently surveyed by Dimensional Research have faced challenges with their IoT projects, which are slowing their deployment efforts.
The most common challenge, according to 94 percent of the Dimensional Research survey respondents, has been collecting and analyzing IoT data. However, the data collection and analysis issue is just the tip of the IoT ‘iceberg’. Capitalizing on current and future IoT opportunities depends on pulling together numerous technological components and assembling them to achieve a number of corporate objectives.
This is a significant undertaking. It can require a technological supply-chain extending from remotely deployed sensors; numerous mobile, desktop and enterprise software applications; a variety of databases; and multiple cloud services.
Although there are plenty of CIOs and CTOs who can identify various solutions to support their corporate IoT supply-chains, making sure they are selecting the right alternatives depends on fully understanding their specific corporate objectives.
This means collecting information and insight from every business unit and operating group regarding what products and services should be monitored, how they should be monitored to capture the most relevant data, and how that data will be utilized to support their ongoing operations and achieve their business objectives.
As I’ve outlined previously, the IoT can deliver four levels of business value that can have a significant impact on an organization’s operations and corporate success:
· The ability to react more quickly to resolve a product/service problem in order to preserve customer satisfaction.
· The ability to proactively maintain products and services to reduce the cost of support, increase reliability and encourage greater customer loyalty.
· The ability to improve ongoing operations by streamlining business processes and better target corporate resources.
· The ability to identify new market opportunities that create a greater competitive advantage and potentially transform the nature of a company’s business.
Gaining all four levels of value requires a broadminded corporate vision, a radically new approach to product/service design, highly specialized technical skills, and fundamentally rethinking an organization’s go-to-market strategies, from sales to customer support.
This demands a multidimensional perspective that spans the traditional corporate silos, and bridges the gap between business and technology.
Only a specially designated IoT ‘czar’, or Chief IoT Officer, with access and authority across every department can fully address all the challenges associated with IoT initiatives and provide the leadership necessary for success.
Kaplan is Managing Director of THINKstrategies (www.thinkstrategies.com), an independent consulting firm focused on the business implications of the on-demand services movement. He is also the founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace (www.cloudshowplace.com), and the host of the Connected Cloud Summit (www.cloudsummits.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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