Every so often I am asked something along the lines of “What will the Internet of Things mean to my job?” I’d like to describe a now, near, future scenario that takes place in almost every traditional IT shop I am aware of. Something similar could be described in other industries as well.
Today when a system goes down, organizations will usually alert just about everyone who has half-a-chance of being able to fix the problem, in the hopes that it will address the problem. This interrupts many people, and attention fatigue can occur -- even though the organization knows a number of things:
From the enterprise context:
1) The extent and type of the problem
2) The organization that is effected
3) If any kind of failover scenario was automatically executed
From the employee perspective:
1) Who is trained on the issue (from the HR training database)
2) What they are scheduled to do at this time (from their calendar)
Very little of this already “known” information is used in the response and notification process. Yet, it could be used to limit the number of people interrupted from 10 to 1 or 2, with an escalation process to extend notification if needed, improving the productivity of everyone involved.
In the future, sensing data from the phone could provide real time employee location information to limit the notification even further. Many people would sign up to give up this bit of information to the corporation if they would be interrupted less often. Preventative maintenance solutions could be used to predict when problems are likely to happen or notify personnel about system usage trends so that for systems that have some degree of redundancy they can have their maintenance performed with no impact on the end user. Almost all IT components today have some level of embedded sensing.
As changes are made to the Bill-of-Materials, training gap notification could be scheduled, so that the support organization doesn’t become a bottleneck for the deployment schedule.
Similar activities in retail (identifying trends and adjusting marketing and ordering) are easily identified. Healthcare prognosis recognition also uses many of these same techniques.
We’re talking about an ecosystem of information that proactively predicts the future needs and tries to align the organization to address that future state. This is an area that IT organizations and be creative and increase the flexibility of the organization, rather than just respond to events.