Friday, 05 December 2014 11:07

Harvard Biz Review says Internet of Things drives measurable business outcomes


The majority of organisations that have adopted Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are already seeing measurable results, including enhanced customer experience, collaboration, insight and productivity, according to a new Harvard Business Review study, “Internet of Things: Science Fiction or Business Fact?”

Paid for by Verizon Enterprise Solutions, the freely downloadable report documents the impact IoT is having on early adopters’ organisation, the rewards they are receiving by being IoT pioneers and the challenges associated with new technology implementation.

Key takeaways from the report include:

- 51% of respondents said that they are using IoT solutions to improve customer service.
- 62% said IoT somewhat increased or significantly increased their customer responsiveness.
- 46% said that ensuring privacy and regulatory compliance is the biggest obstacle blocking IoT deployment.

Mark Bartolomeo, VP of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon, said that while the Internet of Things is definitely not science fiction, it’s not something that’s readily available off the shelf.

“Building an IoT application requires the selection and integration of multiple components: sensors, communications modules and network as a starting point,” Bartolomeo explained.

“Turning the data into something that’s actionable — like a super-efficient smart city — is a major undertaking that requires clear leadership, private and public collaboration and business model transformation.”

Respondents stated that in order to implement IoT initiatives, organisations must plan for privacy, compliance and security challenges associated with collecting a copious amount of new data, especially when it’s related to customer behaviour.

Yet only 56% of respondents that have deployed IoT — or are in the process of doing so — said that they have an IoT strategy. This reflects the fact that even though IoT applications aren’t a new phenomenon, the solutions needed to tether these products and services together and make sense of the data produced still has a long way to go.

Many organisations will need outside help to realise a return on their IoT investments — one of the top challenges that respondents cited was “acquiring the skills needed to turn the wealth of data generated by IoT-based projects into actionable intelligence (cited by 39%) and managing the growing volumes of data (35%).”

Bartolomeo said that the right IoT partner must bring more to the table than devices, applications and network connectivity — they must have a an ecosystem of partners, development, professional services and insights drawn from a bevy of previous projects.

“With a strong IoT partnership, organisations can not only achieve their immediate objectives, but accelerate their transformation and prepare for the future today.”

The “Internet of Things: Science Fiction or Business Fact?” report can be downloaded here

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