MIT SMR Connections
MIT SMR Connections is the custom content creation unit within MIT Sloan Management Review.
Companies recognize that the internet of things (IoT) offers significant potential business value — but getting there requires significant changes to business operations. The promise of IoT technologies is great enough that many businesses are beginning the journey, according to a recent global IoT survey, but mature IoT capacity doesn’t come overnight, warns Sukamal Banerjee of HCL Technologies.
Banerjee describes IoT maturity as a three-stage process where IoT device data contributes first to operations improvement, then developing new revenue streams, and finally, full business transformation. A fundamental key to success is having a centralized IoT platform. Such a platform raises concerns around security, support for analytics capabilities, scalability, and agility — but without it, an IoT initiative cannot generate the insights hidden in sensor data.
Stephanie L. Woerner, of the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research, agrees that “the ability to link IoT data with mobile apps and real-time analytics to drive faster decision making and boost revenues” is the IoT “sweet spot,” but when it comes to IoT success, she emphasizes the importance of organizational and executive buy-in, particularly from those in the CIO role. Even so, IoT maturity doesn’t hinge on support from just one executive — the whole organization must commit to it, Woerner explains, pointing out that “full IoT maturity depends on cross-organizational commitment to identifying new revenue sources, spurring innovation, investing in supporting technology and nurturing relevant skills.”