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A Verizon report highlights how big data complexity and a shortage of data science talent are hurdles for an IoT implementation, but we also have to remember the key best practice of having a business goal as part of any analytics initiative.
Somewhere, right now, an IT professional is toiling away at connecting a temperature sensor, a security camera, or maybe a vehicle to the Internet so their company can collect data from that remote device, putting into play an Internet of Things plan.
Most likely, it is only a plan -- a standalone effort to connect a few devices to a monitoring application on a server many miles away -- and, while it can deliver value, it's not a strategy. Meanwhile, some middle manager overseeing the plan is boasting, "We're doing the IoT."
Time and again, we've read about organizations doing piecemeal, disjointed implementations of the IoT. It's a subject that is the focus of a recently released Verizon-sponsored report by Harvard Business Review, The Enterprise Lacks a Big Data Strategy for IoT Transformation.
The report says that 44% of companies "aim to use IoT to transform their business model."
Like our front-line IT pro who is web-enabling a remote device and the overly optimistic middle manager, most of those "doing the IoT" today (78%) are acting on a limited amount of IoT data or they aren't using the data at all, according to the report. Of the 306 business leaders surveyed by Verizon and HBR, 42% said their organizations lack big data skills and capabilities, and 51% said they are struggling with big data variety and complexity.
Know What You Want to Accomplish
All of that is evidence that too many organizations just have "plans" not "strategies" for the IoT. It's easy to imagine that quite a few companies have followed up on their IoT tech efforts with the question, "Now what?"
While Verizon focused on the big data challenges, those represent only part of the problem, one stage in a real strategy.