How and why businesses need to capitalise on the rise of the Internet of Things

By Harry Allan

Businesses need to understand the Internet of Things (IoT) and its potential value or risk lagging behind their competitors as the IoT takes off, according to Thinxtra.

Renald Gallis, Director, Thinxtra, said, “The IoT isn’t just hype: IHS forecasts that the market will grow from an installed base of 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion in 2025. In dollar terms, McKinsey says that could mean an economic impact in the trillions of dollars by 2025. This means businesses need to get on board now to avoid missing out on the potential benefits.”

Thinxtra has identified three steps for businesses looking to leverage IoT for improved competitiveness:

1. Create a C-level IoT strategist

Businesses should either appoint a new C-level position to identify and oversee new digital business opportunities, or they should add these responsibilities to an existing role. A chief IoT officer can develop the business’s strategy for maximising the value of IoT from a sales perspective or as a data analysis opportunity.

The C-level executive will likely require a team with strong knowledge of the digital landscape.

Renald Gallis said, “Executive teams need to know who their new and potential digital competitors are. They will also need to know how they are going to cooperate with others in their industry to anticipate and adapt to digital disruption, as well as knowing the short- and long-term steps the organisation must take to ensure a smooth and timely digital transformation.”

2. Design and execute a plan for investing in IoT technologies and skills

The IoT team needs to create and follow a strategic plan that dictates how the company invests in IoT technologies and skills. The team may need to reallocate resources across the business, invest in data collection and analysis, and identify the talent and skills gaps that must be filled to fully leverage IoT opportunities.

Renald Gallis said, “Increasing investment in people and the new skills required today should be the first order of business for all organisations. Furthermore, organisations need to understand the potential for the IoT so they can direct resources appropriately for the longer term.”

3. Expand user experience expertise and capabilities

Organisations need to integrate and/or expand their user experience expertise and capabilities to exploit the move to an IoT-enabled infrastructure.

Renald Gallis said, “Organisations can start by trialling and exploring diverse, small-scale solutions to see what provides the most business insight and value, only collecting and analysing the most relevant data. Choosing the right data, generated by the right sensors, will give organisations the best chance of successfully leveraging the IoT for significant business improvement.”

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