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IoT and the Edge

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It’s my favorite time of the year – the moment when our Global IoT Decision Maker results come back from the field. We’ve been fielding this primary research study for 6 consecutive years, and this year we captured feedback from our biggest sample yet. This year we have inputs from almost 5,000 IoT decision makers in more than 25 countries. The dataset is rich with perspective on deployments, including the challenges and successes these organizations are experiencing. But this year, we are diving deeper into the key metrics they are using to measure success as well as their perspectives on how to truly monetize the IoT.

With Halloween now firmly in the rear view mirror, I – along with numerous retailers – am turning my attention to holiday shopping. Naturally, the tech fan in me expects all number of smart compute devices to make it on many consumers’ lists from tablets to smartphones, from PC’s to smart speakers, and even some of the emerging products like AR/VR and drones.

IDC has been tracking technology spending in the Worldwide Black Book since the 1980s, and you’d be forgiven for thinking there are fewer surprises and unexpected statistics today. The technology industry is now a much more mature sector of the global economy, even compared to as recently as the early 2000s.

Overall IT spending may be more predictable than in the past, as an increasing share of end-user tech spend moves from volatile Capex to relatively stable Opex thanks partly to the growth of cloud and mobile, but the key to gaining competitive advantage still lies in being first to recognise significant shifts, anomalies and surprising trends. Here are just five of them.

Today, enterprises are outsourcing their logistics business process services primarily to lower operating costs and transportation costs, which is not an atypical benefit sought after when outsourcing any business function. Beyond the main driver of cost savings, enterprises are challenged to manage customer expectations by improving product delivery and order visibility, managing risk and compliance, and continuously meeting SLA’s.

Seven years ago, I embarked on my smart home journey, although I didn’t know it at the time. Being an avid gamer and student in college, I subscribed to a broadband internet service and setup my wireless home network. This allowed me to compete in online video games through my gaming console, connect my laptop to the internet, and stream movies on my tablet. What I didn’t realize back then was that I had just laid the necessary infrastructure in my home to support a lifestyle of comfort, convenience, security, and cost savings that I would come to enjoy seven years later.

Twenty years ago, I went to my first NHL game, and was lucky enough to join five other friends in a luxury box overlooking the rink at center ice. Shortly after arrival, a server showed up to take our drink orders, and in an effort to get our drinks quickly and watch the game, we all ordered the same thing. The server dutifully took them down, punched them into his handheld device, and processed our order. Moments later, by the time he had finished, our drinks arrived from another server. What sort of magic was this? A server can bring us our drink orders in the time it takes us to order? Can he do it again? The answer to that last question was ‘yes,’ even when we ordered complex (and to his delight, more expensive) cocktails.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly revolutionizing how enterprise organizations work, and technology budgets are increasingly reflecting the need for IoT investment. At least $3.1 billion of IT consulting services and $11.2 billion of systems integration services will be consumed building and implementing IoT solutions worldwide in the next three years. Organizations recognize that today’s faster pace of business and their desire for digitally enhanced business transformation means a bigger technology budget.

Organizations are already using 3rd Platform technologies, including mobile capabilities, to enhance how they operate and interact with stakeholders. Knowing how to elevate and accelerate current initiatives is critical to executing a successful, Digital-Transformation (DX) based strategy. One way to use these tools to accomplish a DX-driven goal is to combine these technologies to maximize value for their organization.