State Of Enterprise IT 2018

The evolution of IT

Internet of Things

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By Dave Gallichan, Project Manager

It’s five years since the technology industry first started marketing products as being part of ‘The Internet of Things’. At the time the opportunity for businesses seemed limited - some devices might help facilities managers perhaps, but many use cases focused on consumer products like light switches and thermostats. Not so interesting.

In 2018, enterprises see a massive opportunity. Now that data is seen as the new oil, generating huge amounts of information from Internet of Things devices is not only a tempting prospect but almost a necessity.

In our research, only 9% of IT decision makers told us that their organisation isn’t investigating IoT. In fact, six in ten say that they’re already investing in it (the most popular digital trend we see after customer experience and personalisation) and another fifth are planning to invest soon.

And for all the talk about cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and augmented reality, it’s the Internet of Things and AI that respondents think are most likely to be disruptive this year, not only for specific enterprises but for industries as a whole.

 

Without doubt, IoT is going to be a big focus for businesses. But two things threaten how well they’ll be able to seize the opportunity that it presents.

The first is how well each organisation develops and deploys their IoT initiatives. The best approach would be something company-wide that takes every aspect into account: what data already exists, how it could be supplemented, how that data can be monetised, what efficiencies could be created, what devices could be designed or deployed, and so on.

Our research suggests that such initiatives aren’t generally happening like this: almost two-thirds say that schemes are siloed, and over half say that their companies just don’t know how to implement organisation-wide IoT initiatives. Just like in our main report, the disconnect between how technology is reviewed and commissioned in different departments and different teams means that there are many inefficiencies and lost opportunities.

 

The second issue is something that organisations can’t control: the looming threat of GDPR. Enterprises are already scrambling to figure out how to make their existing systems and processes GDPR compliant; IoT initiatives deliver a whole new set of challenges. In our research, IoT adoption was cited as the digital trend most likely to make GDPR compliance more complex. While that may be a result of wide adoption and understanding of the Internet of Things compared to other digital trends, it certainly shows how the rush for more data won’t be easy.

What does this mean for technology marketers?

Those in technology organisations that offer IoT products, services, and consultancy need to think carefully about how they position themselves. There’s certainly a massive opportunity this year, but emphasising the benefits of IoT isn't necessary. Most are already sold on the benefits and are actively investing. What smart marketers should be doing is showing how they can help organisation-wide strategies, and how they can help ease the pain of GDPR compliance.

Any thoughts?

Other reports about the state of enterprise IT:

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