How Companies Can Leverage IoT
Focus on the problem you are trying to solve, including how to improve the customer experience. Companies can leverage IoT by having specific use cases to improve CX.
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To gather insights on the evolution of IoT to this point in 2017, we spoke to 19 executives who are familiar with the current state of the Internet of Things. We asked them, "What are the keys to a successful IoT strategy?" Here's what they told us:
- Start with collection and filtration of data on a small scale. Identify the workload and work backward. Thousands of potential data points in every car. Huge opportunity for time series data fed into a RaspberryPi or the new weather company. Send relevant data for more analytics. You need a lightweight database powerful enough to scale that’s purposed-based for time series data. Performance and resilience are key. Time series requires quick, relevant data that you can consider to get actionable insights in a timely manner.
- Invest in a team and a strategy. Figure out the right tools. Don’t try to wedge into the wrong tools. Maintain agility, flexibility, and the ability to scale. Integrate the IoT team with the Big Data team and the Cloud Team to create and implement strategies for storing data, machine learning, and deep learning.
- Commercial and open source services and frameworks are appearing. Need to have over the air updating and security analysis. There are tools and technologies to help assemble the right stack and configure the pipeline. To come out with a good product the hardware and software need to work together. There needs to be an integrated effort to deliver the best customer experience.
- A lot of people are collecting data – raw bits and bytes – and never get back to it so it becomes expensive and goes to waste. You must apply machine learning and analytics to massage and manipulate the data so you get value from it by making informed business decisions. This is what fleet management companies and retailers are doing.
- What are you going to do differently if you are going to generate action, revenue, and profitability?
- During the first and second waves of IoT adoption, there was a lot of misconceptions around the promise. People were not articulating how to drive business value. Now utilities and IT companies are having higher value conversations focusing on the challenges they are trying to overcome. IoT and industrial IoT is part of a broader solution framework. If you make sensible choices, it becomes a virtuous loop. One successful project begets another. Ideally, you have a cross-functional team outside of the CIO, including product managers, business analysts, software developers articulating the business challenge to the solution architects. The magic happens when you bring technology to the table to help solve the problem. In doing this, one of our clients in the shipping industry learned that there were entirely different business needs for high-value versus low-value shipments.
- Begin collecting all the data into storage.
- IoT companies solve real business problems to get greater results. Deliver new value to customers. Business model transformation with customers for insights and to use data to solve problems in a different way.
- Think about how you are currently interacting with customers and how you would like to interact with customers. Location intelligence is revolutionizing how we can improve the user experience. The winners will be those that can process data and make it useful.
- Move IoT information from observation to directly impact the business process. Data sharing is the least understood portion of IoT with security topics and complex flows.
- Scalable wins. Put together a journey map and incrementally apply IoT technologies and processes. Improve to get visibility across multiple sites and vendors.
- Play within the core competency of the business you are in. Machine-to-human for retail to improve the CX. In Europe, there are trains with electronic systems. This requires a lot of capital investment up front for sensors and data storage. Know your core competency and build on that.
- Take technology and embed it where it has not been before to solve a business problem or improve the customer experience.
- IoT enables better decisions to be made faster, with timely and higher‐quality data. More sensors collect more data, and more sophisticated software does better data analytics to understand trends and anomalies, benchmark, generate a variety of alerts, and identify previously unnoticed patterns. The “things” in IoT only play an enabling role by sensing data. The actual value of the Internet of Things is generated by the interpretation of the data and what is executed with that data.
- Define the use case regardless of the vertical. Be precise in your definition. Be prepared to address the challenges: new and disparate technologies with few standards. Plagued by security issues. Lack of technical and personnel resources.
- It is all about data monetization and developing strategies around that. We have seen many companies using their IoT data to create analytic products and sell that as a value-added service on top of their physical IoT devices. For example, we have a customer that provides smart grid technologies for the utility/energy industry (things such as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), and communications and network management software). They are collecting the data from their smart meters every two minutes to build three new applications for their customers (large utility retailers), which will do the following:
- Improve outage response and repair crew dispatch time.
- Predict maintenance windows.
- Fraud detection when energy meters are tampered with.
So, how do you advise companies to leverage IoT?
And here’s who we talked to:
- Scott Hanson, Founder, and CTO, Ambiq Micro
- Adam Wray, CEO and Peter Coppola, SVP, Product Marketing, Basho
- Farnaz Erfan, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Birst
- Shahin Pirooz, CTO, Data Endure
- Anders Wallgren, CTO, Electric Cloud
- Eric Free, S.V.P. Strategic Growth, Flexera
- Brad Bush, Partner, Fortium Partners
- Marisa Sires Wang, Vice President of Product, Gigya
- Tony Paine, Kepware Platform President at PTC, Kepware
- Eric Mizell, Vice President Global Engineering, Kinetica
- Crystal Valentine, PhD, V.P. Technology Strategy and Jack Norris, S.V.P., Database Strategy and Applications, MapR
- Pratibha Salwan, S.V.P. Digital Services Americas, NIIT Technologies
- Guy Yehaiv, CEO, Profitect
- Cees Links, general manager Wireless Connectivity, Qorvo
- Paul Turner, CMO, Scality
- Harsh Upreti, Product Marketing Manager, API, SmartBear
- Rajeev Kozhikkuttuthodi, Vice President of Product Management, TIBCO
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