These days, when you think about the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s probably no longer in terms of if or when your organization should get on board, but how. But if you’re also feeling a fair amount of anxiety when you contemplate IoT and all that comes with it, you’re not alone.
There are plenty of valid reasons to worry. Data is in every industry, in every company and department. It’s generated from every device and multiplied exponentially with every click or swipe. No bones about it: data is absolutely critical for every business decision that has to be made, no matter how large or small. And because of this, the influx of data isn’t slowing down. By 2025, some experts predict the installed base of connected devices will be over 75 billion and produce over 95% of the 160 zettabytes created worldwide each year.
With such an unfettered wealth of data pouring in from so many places, the responsibility of managing it all often feels like an uphill climb that never reaches the summit. You know you need to participate in the world of IoT if you want to keep up with the competition. But without a clear strategy for accessing and analyzing data, any foothold you may find can quickly crumble and leave you hanging.
Let’s talk about what gets in the way of effectively mobilizing your data and what you can do about it to embrace IoT with greater confidence.
No one ever said it was easy
From equipment sensors and consumer-grade wearables to tablets, smartphones, and laptops, collecting and making sense of the onrush of potentially valuable data is more than a full-time job. Rather, it’s a 24/7 machine that has to be closely watched, tweaked, and maintained.
But organizations have a lot of natural barriers in place that make running this machine much harder, such as:
- A serious lack of IoT expertise on staff
- Limited IT capacity
- Restricted resources — in onsite equipment, investment capability, and more
- Extensive liability and security considerations
As enterprises evolve to become more data-centric, so must their processes. But the evolution to systems, teams, skill sets, and company culture won’t always happen in the same timeframe or at the same rate.
And then there’s the simple fact that analyzing IoT data (once you have it) is in itself a complicated undertaking that requires highly specific know-how. For example, your organization needs mechanisms in place to address the frequency, identification of, and accountability for data readings, patterns, anomalies, and errors, along the way and at every turn.
In other words, IoT doesn’t just stop at data collection and storage, or with a fancy piece of software that can parse it out for you in pretty visuals.
To leave this specialized knowledge to chance, or to an understaffed and overworked IT team to figure out, is a gamble — with a little too much recklessness and very little reward.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
And yet, enterprise data can be successfully managed if you have a good strategy in place. By using modern, cloud-based tools and following a guideline with sensible, executable steps, your organization can go a long way toward finally realizing the promises and nearly limitless potential of IoT.
- Taking an inventory of all your existing data sources
- Identifying the most relevant sources of new data
- Evaluating your current analytics tools and systems (and determining how they align with organizational goals and data governance policies)
Then move into:
- Highlighting security vulnerabilities and compliance issues
- Coming up with a comprehensive data integration plan (to include identifying the right cloud-based data warehouse and transformation tools to aid in the process)
- Defining overall analytics goals and objectives
Once you have this framework in place and can steadily work against these objectives, IoT becomes much more accessible, manageable, and fruitful. Your data can begin to deliver the actionable insight you need in every aspect of your business, from improving the customer experience, to increasing operational efficiencies, to uncovering new revenue streams, and more.
Better yet, by getting into the flow of IoT, you can retain — if not gain — the competitive edge you’re seeking. You stay at the forefront of, and even anticipate, market changes and trends instead of falling behind.
Download Alooma’s white paper, "Managing the IoT Data Explosion: Effectively mobilizing data in the age of IoT," to learn more about data overload and to get the six-step guide to maximizing the power of your IoT data.