The buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) is indeed gaining momentum. Just look around – it’s not uncommon to encounter IoT-driven products – such as Nest, Fitbit, and AppleWatch – in our daily lives. Although these hyperconnected products appear to make life better and easier, many people debate whether the IoT is a marketing ploy or an opportunity to deliver real impact to companies of all sizes and industries.
From IDC’s perspective, the IoT is here to stay. In its second annual IoT forecast, the IT research firm stated that the IoT market is expected to grow 19% this year. The leading driver of that growth? Believe it or not, it’s digital signage as retailers continue to further digitize the consumer experience.
What about everyone else outside the realm of retail? What potential opportunities does the IoT hold for them? Better yet, how can it help your organization build revenue and expand the business?
The IoT: The greatest resource for driving actionable insight
During the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) Internet of Things Webcast “Transform Business Operations and Reimagine Business,” Demed L’Her, chief technical advisor at SAP, observed that connecting data, people, and things is the greatest resource for driving actionable insight. “The IoT is a sign that the Internet is evolving. Now, we’re moving content of great value from central locations to many people and things. Anything we deploy in our business environment has the ability to connect to this wave of information.”
Whether your company produces tires, operates vending machines, or use ball bearings in equipment, anything you make, use, and sell can capture and report data of all types. And when you consider that more than 75 billion devices and 8 billion people will be connected to the Internet by 2020, it’s not hard to see how much data is available for anyone who wants it. It’s up to the organization to determine what to do with this massive repository of insight.
Seizing the IoT is a matter of maturity, not just technology
From the connected car and connected manufacturing to connected cities, connected policing, and connected families, the IoT is poised to touch every aspect of our lives and businesses. However, the degree in which a company participates in this world of hyperconnectivity depends on its maturity level.
Level 1: Connect (Beginner/Intermediate)
At the base of the maturity scale, companies can link their information to internal network, generate reports, and automated devices and assets. This provides a historical sense of operations and some real-time control.
Level 2: Transform (Advanced/Experienced)
Once all of the connections are made, the next step is to incorporate condition-based monitoring and predictive analytics. At this point, decision makers can take a look at the present state of their operations and identify emerging trends that could impact future demand and supply. Armed with this insight, they can make changes necessary to proactively address upcoming needs and developments.
Level 3: Reimagine (Expert/Leader)
This is where the world of IoT gets exciting. By rolling all of these connections and insights into one package, corporate processes can be integrated to create a business environment where everyone can access information from every line of business. For example, customer service reps can determine whether a backstock item will be available by a given date by reviewing production schedules and supply chain orders. At the same time, this serves as an opportunity to create new business models and services to improve the customer experience.
The good news is that the potential for disruption is everywhere. The trick is setting up the processes, skills, and mindset needed to process all of this information and do something useful with it.
Get started on making the Internet of Things a reality for your business
Watch the entire Webcast series “Internet of Things (IoT) Community Webcast Series” presented by ASUG and SAP. Topics include:
Replay available: Making the Internet of Things Real
Replay available: Transform Business Operations and Reimagine Business
Replay available: From Big Data to Smart Data (IoT)
June 11: IoT and Industrie 4.0 – European Perspective, Examples and Business Models
June 16: Operationalizing IoT Data for Predictive Analytics
June 23: IoT – From Vision to Value
June 30: Transforming Your Business with IoT – SAP Partner Perspectives
July 9: Accelerating IoT in your Organization: Introducing SAP’s IoT Development Platform
Internet of Things: What’s behind the hype? Read Big Data, The Internet Of Things, And The Fourth V.