Real value of Internet of Things may lie in machine-to-machine connections

A recent study by Cisco Systems has revealed that up to 73 percent of all businesses in the United States are using Internet of Things technologies to improve their operations. But the study also revealed large differences in perceived success of technology implementation. This was most stark when comparing IT departments with their business-line counterparts. The former reported a complete success rate for IoT technology implementation of over 35 percent, while the latter reported a rate of just 15 percent.

Up to 46 percent of Internet of Things usage will be machine-to-machine by 2020

The study concluded that up to 46 percent of all Internet of Things usage will not include a human at all by 2020. This can be interpreted as meaning that one of the key areas in which the Internet of Things is expected to add value is in the streamlining and optimization of already automated processes. This idea is further reflected by the relatively low reported rates of successful implementation of IoT tech by those working in areas of their respective businesses that interface with customers.

One of the most powerful aspects of the widespread adoption of Internet of Things technology will be the power to produce almost unimaginable quantities of high-quality data, on everything from shipping time to the vibrations of a fan blade in a jet engine. The study confirms that such vast quantities of data will most likely lend themselves to the areas of improved product performance and increased operational efficiency. These are areas that can largely be automated and form part of the internal components of the product, which the customer never directly interacts with.

In fact, when surveyed on the ways in which they currently use Internet of Things technologies, the respondents in a survey that was included in the study said that increasing the customer experience was one of the most infrequent ways in which the technology was used. The most frequent two ways in which companies are currently implementing Internet of Things technology are in optimizing product performance and in reducing costs through increases in operational efficiency.

The study also reinforced the idea that IT and other tech people need to pay just as much attention to making sure they understand exactly what the nature of the problem is as they do devising a solution to it. The solution is often rendered worthless without a thorough understanding of the problem, in the first place. This is reflected in the dramatically lower reported satisfaction with project results from non-tech workers than for IT specialists. One of the problems that IT specialists often face is the inability of non-tech people to adequately articulate the exact nature of the issue they’re trying to solve. Unfortunately, this is a human problem and not a technical one. Therefore, it often becomes necessary for the IT team to not only take on the responsibility of fully implementing technological solutions, but also to fully define the problem in a way that leads to the desired result.



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