With the popularity of IoT on the rise as the technology “du jour,” many companies are now evaluating whether or not to take the plunge.
Some, of course, have been successfully using machine to machine technologies for many years to great advantage. Sensors, meters, machines connected to monitoring systems, etc., have all been part of a number of vertical oriented industries (e.g., utilities, transportation, medical, vending). And the use of ruggedized handheld devices, many with sensors for data acquisition, have been around for decades powering early versions of the Enterprise of Things (EoT). All of these specialized (and often expensive) solutions generally served specific niche markets.
But the current trend to more generic and potentially inexpensive “things” is clearing the way for a more horizontal approach, which will ultimately affect nearly all businesses no matter what market they serve. In the next 3-5 years, I estimate that 75%-80% of enterprises will have some form of EoT installed and utilized to improve and/or expand their business capabilities.
EoT is changing to more mainstream uses. The wholesale adoption of EoT will further be accelerated by a growing (although nascent) move to wearables and consumer-oriented “things” that will drive a new wave of BYOD and end user demands.
However, the corporate requirements of EoT are different than in typical consumer markets. EoT requires a heavy focus on security, integration, connectivity, cost of operations, manageability, reliability, etc. As we move to the era of EoT where many different devices and sensors are connected to the corporate infrastructure, companies must focus on strategy, not just reacting to trends. And those that don’t will find it even more difficult to adapt than when mobile was the technology chasm they were crossing.