The Internet of Things Pushes Enterprises To Think Bigger – Forbes

The enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) is poised for strong growth. But are enterprises ready for IoTification?

That’s the gist of recent surveys, which suggest that executives understand the potential of IoT, but recognize that it’s going to take a lot of work to embed it into their businesses.

Photo: Joe McKendrick

IoTification will reshape the enterprise.

A recent survey out of McKinsey & Company, for one, suggests that just about everyone has gotten IoT religion. The survey finds that 98 percent of executives include enterprise IoT initiatives somewhere within their strategic road maps. Areas slated for IoTification include those “related to improving service operations, increasing visibility into operations, enabling new business models, and creating new product and service offerings,” the survey shows.

Another survey from Canonical detailed some of the benefits executives expect from these efforts. For example, 25 percent expect to achieve greater insights into their businesses, while 25% see it opportunities to launch new products and services.

However, it’s too soon to tell how IoT is progressing, as many IoT initiatives are still in the single-focus pilot stage. Things are too narrow at this stage, the report’s authors, Michael Chui, Vasanth Ganesan, and Mark Patel, point out. As anyone experienced with pilot programs know, things change when it comes to scaling to a larger segment of the enterprise.

Plus, there’s a question about the data — namely, that there will be a lot of it needed to make IoT viable. Respondents agreed that information from IoT sensors was valuable, with 60 percent stating that it “provides significant insights, such as data on customer demographics or shopping patterns.” But an almost equal number—54 percent—claimed that companies used 10 percent or less of this information, the McKinsey team adds.

Demonstrating return on investment is also seen as a current weak spot in IoT, as cited by 53 percent of the respondents to the Canonical survey. Another 45 percent worry about security, and, tellingly, 40 percent say lack of infrastructure is holding them back. Plus, the survey’s authors say the “Internet of Talent” also needs to be strengthened. (My colleague Louis Columbus provides more details on these findings.)

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