The Internet of Everything is connecting people, processes, and data in ways that we couldn’t do before, enabling us to see data and respond in different ways, access things in different ways, and intervene at the right times. It will drastically transform the world we all know today, and it’s only just beginning.
IoE is a key enabling technology for a digital enterprise and companies that merge the physical and digital worlds to derive new value and competitive advantage, will watch those that don’t, fade into the history books. But while plenty of people talk about connected companies, incorporating this lofty notion into business models, which can then be successfully executed upon to achieve the required business outcomes, is another ball-game.
Source: Cisco – Internet of Everything Illustration
The thousands of companies that have already embarked upon their journeys of “getting things connected together” are well on their way to having access to unprecedented volumes of data at their fingertips, but it’s vital that data is relevant to a strategic business model. Then comes the challenge of deriving value from that data.
The Business Challenge of IoE
While a present-day technical challenge of IoE is in the connecting of things that use different protocols, a key business challenge is in knowing how to derive value from IoE within a particular industry. For example, a retailer is going to explore very different IoE use cases from manufacturers, as they have very different business models, which can benefit from IoE in different ways.
Leaders need to select digital use cases to drive digital value by focusing on opportunities, value propositions and digital business models that are relevant within their industry – if they are to derive real business value from IoE. But conjuring up business cases that have never before existed is a challenge. While many companies recognise that they need to embrace IoE, most have trouble articulating and quantifying value for a business case. Despite external opinions, the internal reality for many leaders is that they are unlikely to get buy-in and funding for large-scale IoE deployments without a solid business case.
How to Create Value From IoE
Getting things connected together is a start, as is capturing data, but that’s just the beginning. Because only by when relevant data begins to work for us, can it begin to demonstrate its value, along with the value of the sensors and devices that are helping to capture that data. Cisco has suggested that IoE value is distributed across five key business functions, which are:
- Asset Utilisation
- Employee Productivity
- Supply Chain
- Customer Experience
Whether you adopt this or another model to work with, you will need to:
- Conduct a digital capabilities assessment
- Review digital use cases for your industry and capabilities
- Create your own digital use cases
- Conduct a benefit analysis of your use cases
- Understand your priorities
- Identify quick-wins
- Create an implementation roadmap
- Establish business cases
- Construct the portfolio and governance
- Execute the transformation
In summary, companies need to understand where they are right now on their own digital journey, identify use cases that can drive the most value, then close the gap in digital capabilities to achieve their business goals. Doing all of this well requires an appropriate blend of innovation, technical and business transformation capabilities on board. Don’t expect staff that are highly experienced in other areas but inexperienced in the above, to produce the right outcomes. That’s not fair on them or the company.
100 Internet of Everything Stories
Cisco has published a 203 page document which describes the stories of 100 customers that have already begun deriving value from IoE. We have listed 100 of those stories below, from companies that have turned technology into business outcomes in a variety of industries. Let this inspire you and your teams to begin exploring the value that can be derived from IoE – sooner rather than later.
“Once you get things connected together, you are naturally going to gather a lot of data and that’s when the transition happens from IOT to IOE”.
– Aglaia Kong, VP & CTO, IOE Solution, Cisco