Unleashing IoT’s full potential though smart integration
（Attributed to Anneliese Schulz, Regional President for Asia Pacific and Japan, Software AG）
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been growing at a staggering pace, with a study from global management consulting firm McKinsey estimating 127 new devices connected to the Internet worldwide, every second. Asia Pacific alone is seen to account for 8.6 billion of 29.5 billion connected devices globally by 2020, according to global marketing intelligence firm IDC. Now at the forefront of IoT implementation and smart city development, the region is actually projected to constitute half of IoT device shipments by 2026.
Given its versatile application across industry verticals, IoT is seen to support Asia Pacific enterprises’ automation and digital transformation initiatives, allowing organisations to better benefit from declining costs and more effective data insights.
With the global annual economic benefits of IoT estimated to reach between USD3.9 trillion and USD11.1 trillion by 2025, companies are aiming to capitalise on the power – and promise – of IoT. Consequently, enterprises across Asia are investing heavily on infrastructure supporting IoT implementation: Excluding Japan, Asia Pacific alone is expected to spend almost USD 619.1 billion on innovation accelerators, including IoT, by 2021.
However, blindly implementing IoT without tackling enterprise fragmentation causes further issues instead of alleviating them. With enterprise boundaries moved from on-premises to the cloud and to the mobile edge, a company’s boundary is now characterised by the location of the asset or digital sensor. With today’s enterprise ecosystem further extended to include partners, clients, clients’ customers, third-party sources, and flexible real-time data insights, integration is now a fundamental element to IoT success.
Overcoming enterprise fragmentation as key to IoT success
As with any new business transformation initiative, the desired end-game for consumers should be at the heart of any IoT implementation. In light of this, enterprises should transcend their silo mentality to focus on the specific outcomes they hope to achieve with IoT implementation. Instead of deciding immediately on IoT processes they hope to implement, enterprises should focus on the outcomes and pick the technology that will best enable them to reach their objectives.
The process of integration begins with efficient coordination across the value chain. As such, It is imperative for departments to work closely with IT once the desired outcomes have been determined. Prior to the implementation, enterprises need to consider questions around cybersecurity, applicability and network complexity to prevent builder’s or buyer’s remorse. Implementing IoT even at the very basic level demands time and money, given challenges around overcoming enterprise fragmentation.
Making an enterprise more than a sum of its parts
More than ever, data analysis is playing an even more integral role in the equation as enterprises direct their focus towards smart and efficient integration across the organisation. Integration today necessitates bridging applications from any vendor hosted anywhere and sensors from any manufacturer together - into one cohesive whole. It necessitates a neutral process that empowers organisations to become masters of their own respective IT infrastructures – in turn, allowing them to experience flexibility and speed to conduct business in the IoT successfully and profitably.
Enterprises today require independent integration that avoids vendor lock-in, protects decades of IT investment, and provides an agility layer that forms the basis for successful digitalisation. Without this, the enterprise will be depending largely on the innovation cycles of their software suppliers, and not their own. By avoiding being locked-in with a single vendor, enterprises have the capability to choose and switch vendors seamlessly, with the full autonomy to build and control their digital future.
Indeed, there is no other way to prepare for IoT and a sustainable digital future than to make a fracture enterprise whole. Transformation begins with integration, which makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Ultimately, it is only through connecting processes in a controlled and smart way - alongside analysing pre-determined data - that organisations will be able to unleash the full potential of IoT.