Prepare for the Internet of Things (IoT) future

Gartner predicts that, by 2020, the installed base of the Internet of Things (IoT) will exceed 26 billion units worldwide; therefore, few organizations will escape the need to make products intelligent and the need to interface smart objects with corporate systems.

IoT projects are already starting in advanced organizations, and even when they haven’t yet arisen, few organizations will escape some form of IoT activity in the 2014 to 2017 time frame. For those organizations that haven’t yet started investigating IoT opportunities, it may seem premature to prepare for something before firm requirements emerge.

Following activities suggested by Gartner to prepare for IoT projects:

  • Training: Send staff to training courses, encourage self-development by providing books and training material about IoT concepts, and encourage staff to attend relevant conferences and exhibitions.
  • Familiarization: Buy low-cost, single-board embedded computers such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino and provide them to key staff to for experiments and familiarization.
  • Ideation: Run workshops, competitions and other ideation exercises to consider what business opportunities might emerge if your current products were smarter and exploited IoT principles.

As per Gartner analysis the initial goal is not to create IoT experts, but to ensure that key staff (such as IT architects) have sufficient knowledge about IoT concepts and technologies to make informed decisions when IoT requirements emerge — as they inevitably will.

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