by Prajeet Nair

IoT and the big data explosion: How are the CIOs coping?

Jan 08, 2018
AnalyticsArtificial IntelligenceBig Data

2018 looks much more promising with mass market deployments especially in industrial IoT space which offers strong tangible benefits. But what does this mean to the CIO?n

Technology adoption and the increasing usage of internet over the last few years has significantly amplified the need for a rapid pace of innovation, which has forced enterprises and specially the CIOs to increase their investments in capital and operating expenditure in order to scale up the existing infrastructure. One such investment area is in the adoption of IoT for business acceleration. Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of IoT in their organisations. With the increasing demand and requirement of IoT in the industry, the CIOs will have a bigger role to play in 2018 and beyond.  IoT data is driving business initiatives, such as enhancing operational efficiencies of assets, improving customer engagement and creating new revenue streams.  However, these changes in business and an abundant amount of data source also threatens to flood organizations with technical infrastructure, which may lead to increases in operational expenses, security vulnerabilities and critical points of failure in mission-critical systems. IoT analytics will be the key mechanism for controlling this flood of data. CIOs will have to deal with the challenge of how to organize and process this and carry the same over the network in an optimal manner. According to a latest Gartner report, “The growth of IoT is well linked with the data produced by the vast array of diverse connected devices. Data, data management and analytics in the age of IoT pose fundamentally new challenges to the capabilities of existing data management and processing tools, technologies, and approaches.” According to D.D. Mishra, Research Director, Gartner, “Analytics are essential to the success of IoT systems. They are arguably the main point of the IoT as they support the decision-making process in operations that are created in business transformation and digital business programs.” Sudip Singh, Senior Vice President – Global Business Unit Head, Engineering Services, Infosys says, “As the CIOs look for scalable IoT solutions, the challenge they grapple with is how to allow rapid innovation to thrive in different business units through proof-of- concepts (POCs) and pilots while ensuring that the viable innovative solutions coming from them can be deployed in real industrial scale.” However, the senior VP also states that approach recommended to the CIOs is to aggregate these multiple POCs / pilots in different business units into a common initiative.  He says, “Use a governance framework that is focuses on realizing specific business capability (use cases / metrics improvements) on a core underlying technology capability that is scalable for additional use cases to be realized. This provides a roadmap of use cases to be realized on a scalable technology capability (which could be different from the initial solution set that was used to quickly prove the concept or do a limited pilot).”  According to him, getting the business, operations and technology team (both IT and OT) bought into this governance framework is critical to ensure that these decisions are not made in isolation limited to the interest of each plant or a business unit, when there is a value in having a common technology capability.

Big data and its impact in the market

The growth and development in Big Data and analytics has impacted the way businesses are led. The Industrial IoT solutions are generating significant amounts of data even in limited pilots and deployments. Organizations are coming up with data processing footprint at the edge and also at the enterprise level to manage this data explosion and use the right data at the right place for the right decision. In the past one year, many companies have moved to a data driven business approach, emphasizing on the need for business agility with the help of big data analytics capabilities.  However, there are still organisations that require assistance at various levels and need overall support from consultation to ecosystem integration and transformation. According to Singh, “2018 looks much more promising with mass market deployments especially in industrial IoT space which offers strong tangible benefits. The physical and digital platforms will come together through IoT which will be accelerated by Analytics, Edge Computing and LP-WAN/5G.”  Apart from the financial sector which has a huge adoption of IoT solutions, the inherent security prowess will see growing applications in the healthcare sector too.  In the coming year as the IoT induced data mining increases exponentially, AI coupled self-learning platforms and solutions will also take a huge leap in the industry.  The year 2018 is also projected as the year of convergence between big data and other technologies. With the increase in IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence and cloud adoption, the data analytics strategy will change accordingly for all enterprises and this is here to stay.