Critical Read

Early IoT adopters see opportunities and obstacles

Shutterstock image: internet of things, connectivity.

WHAT: "Internet of Things: Science Fiction or Science Fact," from the Harvard Business Review

WHY: Firms surveyed for this report say that the machine-to-machine systems that connect data-gathering sensors with management and analytics tools, known popularly as the Internet of Things, are changing the way they do business. Companies are becoming more responsive to customers, more collaborative internally, and better able to track and manage assets in the field. However, the technology is far ahead of the rules of the road that govern data collection. A significant minority of respondents named "ensuring privacy and regulatory and compliance" as a key challenge for IoT deployment. This is particularly the case in health care, where remote control of networked devices that deliver care will require new legislation. Companies are largely on their own to interpret existing rules about connected devices. Despite challenges, firms are moving ahead to deploy IoT on their networks, as improved sensors, cheaper cloud storage and more powerful analytics provide the opportunity to extract insights from data and unify far flung assets.

VERBATIM: "To fully leverage the potential benefits of IoT, organizations will need to change the way they develop products and how they interact with customers. This can present multiple challenges, such as the need to have customer service processes and people in place to address the feedback they receive from connected products. They also need to have mechanisms in place to provide insight into new product development and customer support."

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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