How to transform your business with the Internet of Things

There’s little doubt that the Internet of Things is having a major impact on business and dismissing it means you will be left behind.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is more than just hype. It should be a key piece of an organisation’s digital transformation and can deliver significant value when it comes to competitive advantage.

The key business value of IoT is the insight and efficiencies that can be gained as a result of the communication between the increasing number of connected devices and other internet-enabled devices and systems. However, it’s important to remember that not every connected “thing” will add value.

This is why many industries have tried to make a distinction between consumer IoT and industrial IoT, which is solely focused on improving operational efficiency and business models. Industrial IoT includes things like machine learning and sensors that provide actionable intelligence.

Using this intelligence and existing machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, industrial IoT provides business value by increasing data accuracy and consistency. Industries like manufacturing and infrastructure began this transformation long ago and it is beginning to take hold in other sectors.

Organisations in these sectors have realised they can save time and money by eliminating inefficiencies in their business models while increasing their visibility into core business functions. With this new intelligence, you can optimise or even fundamentally change your business model to adapt to new opportunities and swings in consumer demand.

Here are four ways businesses can take advantage of IoT:

  1. Understand the risks. Increasing IoT technology in the business does not come without risk. As businesses begin to seek the benefits of IoT, they should expect an increase in IT complexity and security risks. This increased risk includes concerns such as operational disruption and a lack of service assurance. The key when beginning to capitalise on the potential of IoT is to be able to pinpoint the root cause of performance issues across your network and decrease the time it takes to resolve performance issues.
  2. Gain visibility. The key challenge of enabling a successful digital transformation strategy that includes both IoT and service assurance is having a true and complete understanding of all the moving parts of the enterprise in one clear snapshot with context and actionable intelligence. This visibility must include every system your business runs, be it finance, ERP, CRM, social or IoT. Once visibility is established across the entire network, you must embrace continuous monitoring of traffic-based data and real-time analysis to provide a transparent and holistic view that supports the new or updated business models being developed using IoT and other technology improvements.
  3. Avoid deceleration. With an understanding of the risks involved and actionable intelligence provided by comprehensive and real-time visibility, organisations can use IoT to improve the business model. The challenge is avoiding a deceleration in business velocity. To avoid this, organisations should look at data coherence and service assurance. You need a deep understanding of the relationships and interdependencies of the service delivery environment to diagnose whether client services, servers, application environments, or the network infrastructure is causing a service performance problem.
  4. Plan to scale. Digital transformation and IoT is growing exponentially and will continue to drive more connections between people, machines, data and processes. As such, an organisation’s digital transformation strategy must be able to scale as the network surface continues to grow along with the business itself to accommodate business velocity and agility acceleration at any level.

There’s little doubt that the Internet of Things is having a major impact on business and dismissing risks you being left behind. By undergoing the business transformation that gives a holistic view of all your technologies and data points, you’re likelier to achieve overall success.

Amit Rao, Director – APAC channels, NETSCOUT

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