Competing With Data & Analytics
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The potential of the Internet of Things is fueling a lot of interest (and hype) all across media and industry. But we aren’t ready.
We are attracted to, and ready for, the insights that will likely come. But being ready for the benefits isn’t the same as being ready for the associated changes. Before the smoldering ingredients of IoT catch fire, preparation for the coming market power shifts, increasing complexity, pervasive security, and process change would help most organizations make the most of the IoT potential.
Yes, the potential insights from IoT are enticing. For example, it’s fun to think about the potential personal and even societal benefits from self-driving cars, such as fewer accidents, no problems with parking, more productivity while traveling, car sharing, greater infrastructure efficiency, etc. But perhaps a more profound implication is the data that they can collect. These cars will also be widely distributed “things,” gathering performance data that can help manufacturers diagnose problems, operational data that can help mechanics prevent failures, driver data that can help insurers understand risk, road data that can help cities improve infrastructure, etc. These kinds of insights, we’re ready for.
But there are a lot more changes coming with the IoT transformation than many people may recognize.
In the classic triangle, fire requires heat, oxygen, and fuel; without all three, fire isn’t possible. By analogy, analytics required data, technologies, and knowledge to be possible. About a decade ago, advances in information technology converged to fuel a boom in corporate use of analytics. First, widespread implementation of information systems captured unprecedented amount of data in ways that could be used in isolation or combined. Second, tools and technologies allowed the inexpensive storage and processing. Third, savvy analytical innovators creatively combined these to show everyone else what could be done.
Now, a similar convergence is coming with the Internet of Things. First, the cost and physical size of sensor technology have dropped such that they can be incorporated into most items. Second, widespread communications infrastructure is in place to allow these distributed components to coordinate. Third, once again, savvy innovators are showing the rest of us the possibilities from the data they collect.