Why mixing IoT and analytics creates competitive advantage

“Synonymous with the Internet of Things (IoT) is Big Data and Analytics.”

“Synonymous with the Internet of Things (IoT) is Big Data and Analytics.”

That’s the view of Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President, IDC, who believes mixing IoT and information analytics can help create competitive advantage in business.

After all, Turner believes that with billions of sensors connected to the Internet, they are capable and willing to create and transmit a lot of data - much of that data will however be dumped, discarded and never processed because it was deemed to fall under the ‘normal business process’ rules.

“Whether this is a good or bad IT rule depends on the expected business outcomes,” Turner says.

“However, the bottom line for anyone embarking on an IoT strategy is that you will need to have a strategy to turn that data into meaningful information.”

Late last year, IDC surveyed 250 CxOs and IT directors in the United States, as part of an eight country IoT global study, asking; “Does your organisation have an overall strategy for analytics (i.e. using data analytics to improve processes or create new or more targeted products and services)?”

“A confident 84 percent of the sample said that they did, only 11 percent said no, while 5 percent didn’t know,” Turner recalls.

While the hit rate is encouraging for IoT analytics, IDC believes that the high response rate correlated to the fact that big data analytics (BDA) tool have been deployed successfully in most IT organisations, and therefore IT architecture and CxOs see the IoT as yet another BDA workload.

However, IDC needs to highlight to its readers that CIOs will be challenged to implement an IoT analytics strategy simply because they will have to deploy two solutions: one for the Enterprise (where large in-memory solutions are already common), and another lesser common solution at the network edge (or at the point of content creation).

In another survey, IDC also asked what the companies were using analytics to better understand if they were ready to improve business outcomes by augmenting their data sources with IoT data.

Currently the top 3 main reasons for using analytics is

• To improve customer service processes using account transactional, and historical activity data (63 percent)

• To generate new information and insights for new revenue-generating services their organisations plan to offer (52 percent)

• To improve marketing relevancy based on consumption patterns and preferences, demographics, location data, etc. (50 percent)

“These three leading responses indicate that IoT-as-a-workload should be easily integrated into the information analytics process, but even more so, be an integral part of a company looking to embark on a digital transformation journey,” Turner adds.

“Our advice to customers is to consider adopting IoT-based technology that can track workflow processes that had previously been isolated from the rest of the IT environment.”

Turner believes these processes were often not connected to the corporate network but now, with connected IoT sensors – or end points, can add data to the corporate business systems (such as ERP, CRM, transactional databases, fraud, security).

Consequently, IDC believes that as more sensors are added to existing workflows, better customer service, better product support and faster product cycles will quickly be achieved.

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