The Internet of Things for Executives – why it’s not just an IT thing

5 min read

 The Internet of Things for Executives – why it’s not just an IT thing

The internet of things – aka IoT – has already seduced the tech sector and is quickly doing the same to all other industries. And for good reason. Yes, there are lots of devices and things that are going to be connected. They are going to generate enormous amounts of data. And it all could potentially generate large returns across entire economies.

There are any number of forecasts published about IoT that state something of this nature. McKinsey & Company, for example, forecast that there would be between 26 to 30 billion “things” connected by 2020. The consulting firm noted that only 10% of the value of IoT is likely to come from the “things” or devices that are connected. The firm added, “IoT has a total potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025”.

But the bigger this IoT picture is painted and the more we talk about the tech aspects, the more we shroud the possibilities for organisations of all walks of life. This is a shame, as the possibilities presented for doing things better or creating great new experiences are immense, but unique to each organisation’s circumstances.

And this is not just for tech companies, start-ups, or IT departments to pursue. In TRA’s view this is fundamentally something all business leaders should be considering and planning for today. The price and time to an innovative IoT-based service has never been lower. If you aren’t the one innovating, someone else will be.

We recently asked 250 Australian IT and business leaders about IoT and what they are planning. The research backs this notion up. One in four say they already have an IoT strategy.

The chart below also shows the types of projects they are pursuing in the next 12 months.

 The Internet of Things for Executives

The spread across industries and types of IoT projects is exciting to see, and again confirms our view that IoT should be viewed as far more than just big picture forecasts about devices and data, or the fact it is based in emerging tech. It is also worth noting that all of these types of projects will have an impact on people and culture. And these are areas where business leaders can excel and indeed, are critical to successful outcomes.

Further, each of these projects will have a potential transformational impact on transactions or interactions of many kinds: on the flow of information within processes and workflows; between customers and suppliers and partners; and between employees. These interactions or transactions will also include payments.

For example, providing employees the ability to pay at cafes or other retail outlets within a smart workplace or building via a wearable device that is also linked to building access permissions. Or allowing a driver to have their connected vehicle interact with smart parking lots to process payments automatically. The possibilities with payments specifically, and IoT generally, are extensive.

Internet of things includes wearable devices

This isn’t something to be left to technology leaders alone as even payments changes result in behavioural changes. Indeed, it demands leadership that can address the people and culture questions along with providing a strategic vision. This skill set should be the bread and butter of business executives as will IoT success in future.

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