IoT 2 mins read

IoT and the digital paradox

Many organizations are in the throes of a digital paradox – failing to use the IoT to pursue growth opportunities.

Bart Schouw Bart Schouw

Many organizations are in the throes of a digital paradox; failing to use one of the most disruptive technologies to pursue growth opportunities – the Internet of Things.

Five years ago, the promise of IoT led to some grandiose predictions – such as 1 trillion connected devices by 2020. Yet, here we are in 2020, and the number of “real” IoT-connected devices globally is around 30 billion (50 billion if you include computers), or three times below the early estimates.

But it is not the number of connected devices that causes the paradox – it is the failure to convert them into value. The value in leveraging IoT lies in reducing costs, improving customer experience, and finding new business models that can disrupt.

Reasons to use IoT

Many companies are using IoT for cost reduction and better CX, but I see few that are disrupting via new business models. This is about to change. Today, CEOs are under enormous pressure to show value from digital investments. They need return on investment to counteract losses caused by difficult business conditions, including Covid-19.

To achieve this, companies must stop looking at technologies in isolation. IoT can only reach its full potential if the data that is derived creates insights that are shared through the whole enterprise. IT and business must unite and operate with a common goal to stand any chance. They must heal their fractures and unite to apply digital and IT innovation, so they can operate as truly connected enterprises. Only then can value be created, and disruptive ideas come to the fore.

The clock is ticking. Luckily IoT technology is maturing; platforms are more secure, more rugged and include easy-to-use, self-service analytics. Read my article in Big Data Quarterly, Back to the Future with IoT, to find out more about embracing IoT to create new business models.