1. The Rise of the Chief-IoT-Officer: In the not too distant past, there was an emerging technology trend called “eBusiness”. Many CEO’s wanted to accelerate the adoption of eBusiness across various corporate functions, so they appointed a change leader often known as the “VP of eBusiness,” who partnered with functional leaders to help propagate and integrate eBusiness processes and technologies within legacy operations. IoT represents a similar transformational opportunity. As CEO’s start examining the implications of IoT for their business strategy, there will be a push to drive change and move forward faster. A new leader, called the Chief IoT Officer, will emerge as an internal champion to help corporate functions identify the possibilities and accelerate adoption of IoT on a wider scale.
2. Analytics Will Be the #1 Priority for IoT Initiatives: 2014 was about sensors and devices. The initial objective of many IoT projects was about simply placing sensors on critical assets such as aircraft engines, cell phone towers, cargo containers, and more to start collecting data from real-time events. Early IoT pilots demonstrated the wealth of information made possible by sensors and connections. 2015 will be about value. The attention will quickly shift from simply “enabling IoT” to truly “generating benefits from IoT”. Timely analytics is key in gaining actionable insights from data, and hence, a prerequisite for realizing the full potential of IoT. To drive more business value from IoT, companies will analyze more real-time data and implement new, innovative ways of delivering analytics to the “edge” or source of data.
3. IoT Platform to IoT Platform Integration Will Drive Relevance: Forrester recently proclaimed “IoT software platforms will become the rage in 2015”. Indeed, many IoT software companies are thinking “platform” rather than just “modules” to help deliver something closer to a “whole offer” for customers. However, an IoT platform’s real value will be driven by its integration with other IoT platforms. The reality is that there is no single, end-to-end IoT platform, which can deliver device management, data aggregation, analytics, visualization, etc. for the breadth of potential IoT use-cases. Hence, the power and value proposition of an IoT platform will be driven by its connection and integration with other complementary IoT platforms.
4. Industrial/Enterprise IoT Will Take Center Stage in the Media Spotlight: Driven by well-publicized acquisitions (e.g. Google/Nest) and high-profile new products (e.g. Fitbit, Apple Watch, etc.), consumer IoT has received a disproportionate amount of media attention compared to industrial IoT. While consumer IoT will eventually be a huge market, the hype greatly outweighs the near-term reality with respect to adoption. However, the tide is turning and industrial IoT will take the spotlight in 2015 as the media starts to more frequently cover the massive opportunity and traction of enterprise IoT in driving efficiency and creating new business models (e.g. Harvard Business Review’s cover story on IoT in their November 2014 issue).