The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Is the IoT going to be under the control of the CIO?

Internet of things.png

As we shift from the internet of people (moving beyond the smartphone era) to the Internet of Things (IoT) some of our assumptions for the IT organization and its value may no longer be valid. According to IDC, the IoT will become so prevalent that by 2020 that more than 212 billion devices around the world will be connected. That’s the equivalent of 27 devices per person on earth.


There are a few drivers for this increase in adoption. Those are advances in:

  • Sensing capabilities – allowing broader and deeper understanding
  • Power management and consumption – enabling devices that are smaller, last longer and are more autonomous
  • Networking – permitting machine to machine and greater process collaboration

There are actually predictable changes. The three exponential laws that enable the shift in value are:

This shift is already happening in the consumer space, but the question remains “What will the CIO’s role be,” when it happens in industry? Many CIOs spend all their time focused on systems of record, those systems that track all the transactions of a business. IoT implementations are in a different domain all together.


The primary consumers of these implementations may be different as well. These are the sources of the abundance of data I’ve mentioned earlier. The IT organization should have the skills to understand what the implications of:

  • Transporting all that data and the interconnection required
  • Storing the information for later use
  • Analyzing the data to actually generate value
  • Automating the response so that people don’t become overwhelmed – systems of action

But the big question for most will be if they willing to invest now so they can have the influence and impact when it is needed. It’s not a foregone conclusion.

Christopher Rezendes | ‎05-01-2014 09:17 PM

Charlie, great quick framework for people to consider. May I add:


1. The consumer space may not be all that far ahead of enteprise. In order to see the enteprise installed base, and commitment-to-date in IoT, one needs to search for different terms: SCADA, wireless SCADA, fleet management, telematics and more ...


2. IoT will NOT be under the control of a single individual, including the CIO. We see current centers of gravity more toward COOs -- and others who have control over Operations Technology (OT) -- the embedded, real time, legacy protocol-addled, multiple API negotiating, fragmented spaces with 5/7/10 year or longer deploymetns -- more than Information Technology (IT).


3. At the same time, most of the CIOs that I have shared time with -- hundreds -- state that OT and IT must cease their independent existences


4. Experts from operations, logistics, materials, compliance, safety and a wide range of functions will play critical roles in defining what to instrument, why and how. CIOs will often be listening a hell of a lot more than ... perhaps ever.


5. On the one hand, power/ influence/ impact/ risk/ return will be more distributed. On the other, the need for a coordinator in this federation could elevate CIOs in new ways.


To your final question. Enterprises have generally made their decisions:


1. They know IoT IS here, not coming.


2. They know they MUST participate in the instrumentation of the physical assets, inventories and areas of operation that make up their business


3. They know that they CAN disrupt as much as be disrupted in their 'post-instrumentation' markets.


We believe that the 'delays' some are observing in IoT implementation are a GOOD thing. Enterprises are pausing to be as intelligent and intentional as possible in decisioning what to instrument, why, how ... and with whom.


For those who control, or control access to the DEVINT (device intelligence) that IoT implementation will create, will have ENORMOUS power.




And that responsibility will have roots in OTHER PEOPLE's balance sheets and income statements in ways that our IT deployments to date have only hinted at.


Great post thanks for sharing.

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