Results from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of SAP
Written by Forrester Consulting
Business stakeholders and CIOs spanning a wide range of industries are deploying internet-of-things (IoT) solutions to power digital transformation initiatives, which revolutionize customer experience, enhance operations, and spur the implementation of innovative business models. IoT deployment momentum brings challenges. Firms must identify strategies and methods to secure, manage, and support the rapidly growing number of smart, connected IoT devices and solutions. A recent Forrester study, commissioned by SAP, identified three initiatives that firms can address today to maximize the impact of their IoT deployments:
#1 – Embed IoT capabilities into critical business applications and operations. For many firms, the value of IoT solutions is achieved by embedding IoT capabilities into critical business systems and operational workflows. On average, over 75% of companies believe they would gain significant value by embedding IoT capabilities into business operations, ERP, CRM, and supply chain management (SCM) systems. The primary value of deploying these IoT-enabled solutions comes from transforming the captured data into actionable insights. Companies can endlessly collect data on the growing number of IoT-enabled connected devices and processes, but without a practical application for that data, its value becomes significantly diminished. For example, it is useful to know that an IoT-enabled device or machine is low on fuel or battery power. However, this information doesn’t provide a business advantage if it is not connected with the proper operational or supply chain systems to trigger the appropriate maintenance ticket to address the issue for that particular device.
#2 – Deploy a broader range of IoT use cases to address business outcomes. Currently, the most commonly deployed IoT use cases focus on specific operational processes including inventory and supply chain management, facility management, and production optimization. However, many firms highlight that their IoT deployment plans over the next 12 months will focus on extending their IoT uses cases to address business outcomes and improve competitive differentiation, ensuring that new business models are enabled, field services are transformed, and the users’ experience is improved. This focus on enabling business outcomes and sustained competitive differentiation highlights how businesses are planning to use IoT solutions to transform their operations and enable innovation at a comprehensive level.
#3 – Use automated analytics tools and processes to optimize IoT solutions. Key benefits of deploying IoT-enabled solutions are achieved by automating processes or functions and reducing the need for human intervention or management. Likewise, as IoT solutions automate inventory and supply or facilitate management processes, it’s important to ensure the captured information is transformed into actionable, relevant insights in a timely manner for operational stakeholders and customers. Advanced analytics capabilities including machine learning (ML) and AI solutions, as well as robotic process automation (RPA), provide enterprise stakeholders with the relevant, timely insights to drive automated actions. In fact, every two out of three companies surveyed rated these intelligent data capabilities as very important or absolutely necessary to optimizing the value of IoT solutions.
Many enterprise stakeholders certainly recognize the tremendous value of deploying IoT solutions to drive meaningful results across the enterprise. Successfully deploying these IoT solutions to transform customer experience, enhance operations, and drive innovations often requires firms to embed new functionality into key business systems and applications. Often, these IoT-enabled solutions leverage advanced analytics tools including ML and AI to provide valuable insights into critical operational processes and innovative business opportunities. Those firms who successfully transform captured IoT data into valuable insights will reap the benefits of achieving operational efficiencies, generating new revenue streams, and differentiating customer experiences.