As to how these developments are impacting the CIO role, Michael Warrilow, research director at Gartner posited: “It gets to the core of the business value.”
“They should already be on that path, and increase the visibility of the whole business process.
“IT has to continue on what is their place in that, is it just managing the data that comes out of these sensors and things and analysing it and continuing to make sure the company is having value from it?"
This can vary industry to industry, he stated.
“Those [IoT] activities have been going on and it is just accelerating massively.
“Everything, from the thermometer in a refrigerator, to giant trucks with tyres that cost $2000 each. You want to make sure you maximise the value for that asset, you connect it to a network that can allow better visibility, better monitoring,” said Warrilow.
“You can, as a CIO, demonstrate immediate value if you can improve the asset maintenance and lifetime of the capital.”
Nikhil Ravishankar, managing director at Accenture New Zealand, sees a combination of different factors behind the focus on IoT.
“There are cheap sensors out there, we are starting to get ubiquitous connectivity and people are working on it [IoT],” he said.
“The ingredients are there, what can you cook, what meals can you make? What use cases can you solve that have true commercial benefit?
“It is about how can we introduce, based on observing the process landscape more closely and in real time, how can we solve operational issues, how can we make those efficient?”
In the case of BMW, he said, the manufacturer knew before most people, except for those involved in the crash, that an airbag went off because of the sensors on the car. Thus, they have introduced a service they never thought of – ambulance dispatch – based on this insight.
BMW just wanted to see how everything was operating using the sensors, but now it has a real use case it can solve because of that data.
“That is the beauty of some of these digital technologies,” he stated. “Previously you defined a problem and then you solve the problem...Now you create the right environment and get ideas refined.
“The big mindshift for enterprises is you no longer own all your ideas, it can come from anywhere,” he said. “You just have to create an environment where you can absorb those ideas easily.”
Ravishankar said a lot of the rhetoric is about startups are where innovation is and big businesses are protectionists. Or, how can big business disrupt startups?
“But really, the conversation needs to be, what is the role of big business in an ecosystem of disruption?”
The author attended the 2015 re:Invent conference in Las Vegas as a guest of AWS.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.