The Experimental Era of the Internet of Things

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Culture & Trends

The Experimental Era of the Internet of ThingsBen McDermott
May 2, 2018

The Internet of Things is expected to give businesses a boost, increasing business profits and producing $11 trillion in savings and revenues annually by 2025.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has garnered a remarkable amount of attention in a short time. Touted as a panacea for a slew of modern society’s quandaries, many enterprises are placing their bets on IoT to be the “fuel” that accelerates their initiatives.

These hopes aren’t based on blind faith, though. IoT is expected to increase business profits by over 20 percent in the next four years and annually produce $11 trillion in savings and revenues by 2025. Backed by these astronomical expectations, it makes sense that corporations are trying to get their share of the IoT pie.

But aside from the promising statistics, there’s still an immeasurable amount of hype surrounding IoT, and it’s obfuscating visibility for many executives in charge of integrating it into their enterprise. Many are left wondering if IoT is actually delivering impactful results, or if it’s just speculative imagination.

The answer is somewhere in between – IoT is in a state of experimentation. Organizations are implementing it successfully to some degree, but there’s still plenty of room left for improvement. As Dominic Venturo, CIO of US Bank, discusses in a joint survey by Hitachi and Forbes, there’s no better time to jump in: “We are seeing the IoT beginning to deliver across virtually all industries. Those who think it is limited to just the factory don’t realize how important it has already become and what it will mean to them.” This survey interviewed 500 executives implementing IoT on an enterprise level to get a grasp of where the technology stands today.

As expected, tech and telecom companies are currently leading the charge into IoT territory. But according to Patrick Bass, getting involved with IoT in its nascent stages is a prudent move for all companies, regardless of industry: “The common denominator here is that the IoT is capable of creating data in every industry… That is what is driving such widespread adoption.” Bass is the CEO of industrial and automotive manufacturer thyssenkrupp North America.

Of course, nothing worth doing comes without its fair share of challenges, and IoT is no exception. “Even though it is becoming operational, the IoT still remains in a period of experimentation, and many companies recognize there are unknown obstacles they will have to solve,” says Bryan Kester, the head of IoT at the software corporation Autodesk.

Common IoT problems plaguing companies right now revolve around finding the right talent and knowing which data is actually pertinent to improving operations. To tackle this, many organizations “are adopting a ‘fail-fast approach’ in which they learn quickly from mistakes and move on,” says Kester.

Companies that are successfully incorporating IoT are saving on expenses and opening new income streams by optimizing their workflows and supply chains. Still, the field of IoT is choppy right now, and for every successful company, there are numerous other ones struggling to capture value from this new technology.

Currently, about 42 percent of companies in the IoT survey say that implementing the technology has met or exceeded their expectations. This leaves 58 percent of the organizations still struggling to capture value with it. The era of IoT has arrived, but it’s got a few hurdles to overcome before it becomes ubiquitous.

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