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What the Internet of Things will mean for CIOs

J.D. Sartain | Feb. 4, 2014
Estimates suggest that as many as 50 billion devices will connect to the Internet by 2020. Surveys say enterprises are giving the 'Internet of Things' a cold shoulder, though, citing security, cost and integration concerns.

Frost & Sullivan's Milroy says the "explosion" of Internet of Things activity over the next few years will be driven by "the nexus of low-cost sensors, cloud computing, advanced data analytics and mobility." Transportation and logistics represent the biggest revenue opportunities today for an Internet of Things ecosystem, she adds.

The deployment of low-cost, IP-enabled sensors within things that move products around and operate within the actual products opens vast opportunities far beyond just the supply chain optimization, Milroy says. There are gains to be made in many industries, she says transportation, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, energy management, facility management, security and surveillance, utilities, telecom, finance, insurance and many more. Basically, every sector in every system will be part of the connected world.

Forrester analysts say that CIOs have four priorities when it comes to the Internet of Things:

  • Identifying business outcomes.
  • Partnering with business leaders to ensure that organizational and skill sets are aligned.
  • Addressing security issues and data privacy concerns.
  • Evaluating and expand staffs' software skills.

"Very few connected-world systems are turnkey and, therefore, [they] require architecture, integration, and agile development expertise," Mines and Pelino write. "Implementing these systems will require joint business-technology task forces with analytic's experts alongside operations, facilities and product development."

Finally, while all these "things" are expected to be IP-enabled, the IT industry will need to embrace standard protocols for the true potential of the Internet of Things to be realized, Milroy says. "'Things' may not be able to communicate with each other and the people that engage with them. There remains a risk that we create an 'Internet of Silos.'"


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