The constant wave of technological advancements sometimes brings greater hype than tangible benefits. At the moment IoT has everyone talking but while some seem so quick to embrace it, other entities seem poised to walk away and examine another technology. Accordingly, CIOs may find it difficult to see reality through the smoke screen of market hype.
But most in the know, including myself, are betting that 4 key shifts have solidified IoT’s position as a seminal technology of our generation. First, chip sets are at sub-dollar price points, making the cost to embed chips in things affordable. Second, network connectivity is pervasive, and continues its steady expanse at a rapid rate. In fact, Ericsson is predicting that LTE coverage will catch up to 3G by 2020. Third, software is easy and cheap to develop. And lastly, many of us are carrying smartphones so we are fully connected into this broader ecosystem. You might argue with these 4 shifts; but many historical barriers like language, physical proximity and currency are being shattered and the IoT is part of our modern day, non-organic evolution.
But there are real business drivers behind these shifts as well. Companies are realizing businesses benefit from solutions in the form of lowering bottom line and boosting top line in so many different ways. Whether it is connecting robots on a factory floor to optimize performance and power consumption or consumer wearables, some industries are investing more heavily than others, but most, if not all, will eventually realize tangible and favorable outcomes. The notion of the connected enterprise has proven to be equal to if not greater than the hype. It looks as if IoT is the logical progression of connected enterprises and a connected world.
However, it’s important to note that IoT movement is disruptive in many ways. In particular, the supply chain is rapidly evolving in support of this huge opportunity and eventual success. Material and significant supply chains are forming in key areas including hardware, software, and networking. As a business stakeholder, you identify the business opportunity, sell the investment and ROI, secure funding, hire experts, leverage the supply chain, and deploy a clever solution for reducing costs through efficient labor use.
Companies will deploy tens, if not hundreds of thousands or even millions of devices, with sophisticated software on board, connecting to networks, driving real business value. The assets, expense, and usage need to be monitored, tuned, and enhanced. This is an area widely overlooked, but it is critical to sustaining this massive global infrastructure set to be valued at $1.7 Trillion by 2020. So while you are securing funding for your new project– along with your promotion–think about what happens after your IoT turns-on, and think about Tangoe.