Leverage IoT For Higher Business Value

Dr. Tom Janoshalmi

Part 2 of the “The Secret Behind the Intelligent Enterprise” series

The excitement around the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a wave of interconnected devices and unique services that are generating swelling volumes of data. There’s plenty of opportunity for insight and innovation inspiration. But at the same time, signs of data fatigue are starting to emerge as businesses struggle to consume, supply, and secure this information on a daily basis.

If your business is tired now, analyst forecasts suggest that you’ve seen nothing yet. Gartner predicts that 95% of new designs for electronic products will be IoT-enabled by 2020. According to Forrester Research, these innovations will go beyond your garden-variety “capture and generate intelligence” capabilities. IoT devices are getting smarter and more powerful and will soon reach a point where data is stored and processed closer to the information source. In other words, most data will be consumed at the edge of computing instead of a central server thousands of miles away.

These analyst predictions are just the start of what businesses can achieve with the IoT. The real potential comes from what people do with these things once they are connected and supplying data.

Build IoT-driven value by aligning resources and services

The IoT has matured to the point where it can transition from function enabler to proactive problem-solver. To take full advantage of this development, businesses will need to address three areas of their IT infrastructure.

  • Analytics: The more data in play, the more complicated decision-making can become. By maturing analytics capabilities, businesses can look at their intelligence from a variety of views and consider a variety of scenarios in a single instance. Without delay, action can be taken at the moment the issue or opportunity is found.
  • Computing at the edge: The rising adoption of drones, self-driving vehicles, and smart devices is helping businesses connect, exchange, and communicate information instantly. But first, device response and data processing need to be accelerated and extended with cloud services, where the most critical and relevant data is housed, captured, and accessed in real time.
  • Broadband connectivity: With billions upon billions of data produced and transmitted to, from, and within the edge and central services, mobile connectivity will need to adapt with higher speeds and increased capacity. Most companies believe that the answer lies with 5G, which is being rolled out worldwide. Even though the next-generation broadband cellular network technology is not yet available everywhere, companies should not delay their IoT initiatives. Instead, they need to innovate for Gigabit LTE – while making room for a 5G future – to become involved in a rapid-growth market enabled by the IoT.

This “must-do” list may seem like a tall order to achieve in a short amount of time, but it is not, at the least bit, impossible. Engineered and customized support can help align IT resources and business services to help ensure your IoT innovations deliver value that is attractive to customers and empowering for the workforce.

At the earliest stages of an IoT initiative, business plans, goals, opportunities, challenges, project plans, and technical and system landscape issues are reviewed and discussed by a team comprising executive leadership, functional managers, stakeholders, and technical experts. Once consensus is reached, a strategic roadmap of the engagement is mapped out. The project is then monitored over time with a balanced-scorecard approach to define objectives intermittently and track performance based on jointly determined metrics, while the action plan is used to power the achievement of value-generation targets.

Get ready for the next stage of IoT integration, value, and action

The IoT certainly has the capacity to forever change entire industries, marketplaces, and societies. But such staggering leaps forward rarely – if ever – happen in a vacuum. What’s really needed is collaborative coordination, structured governance, and full leadership commitment, which can help businesses deliver the capabilities that can push them towards success, not over the edge.

And don’t forget to check every week for new installments to our blog series “The Secret Behind the Intelligent Enterprise” to explore best practices for implementing the latest emerging technologies.

Dr. Tom Janoshalmi

About Dr. Tom Janoshalmi

Dr. Tom Janoshalmi is vice president of Digital Business Services Strategy at SAP. He focuses on developing strategic initiatives that support the mission of SAP Digital Business Services to lead servitization in the new digital economy by delighting our customers and running simple.