Diverse Internet of Things trials are forming a sea of noise that often obscures the business opportunities available, according to Gartner, Inc.
"As the Internet of Things grows rapidly, it is linking millions of assets, including devices, people and places, to deliver and share information, enhancing business value and competitive advantage, and creating new business opportunities," said Hung LeHong, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "In this early and emergent phase of development, entrepreneurs are experimenting across such a diverse range of sectors, applications, business models and technologies in their efforts to uncover value. This creates confusion and makes it difficult for others to easily identify the potential in their own geographies, industries and business sectors."
Mr. LeHong said that although the Internet of Things has a very wide applicability, some enterprises may be too quick to dismiss the value of the Internet of Things in their enterprises because the examples of what other enterprises are doing don't match their own environments.
"A recycling company or vending machine operator, for example, may not find any applicability for the Internet of Things when reviewing how a hospital is connecting its patient-monitoring equipment to the Internet of Things. However, on closer inspection, these companies will discover that the reason the hospital has connected its equipment is to cut costs on nurses' rounds to monitor patients," explained Mr. LeHong. "Any company operating remote devices has opportunities to use this same model. Remote assets that require manual rounds for the purposes of emptying or replenishment, such as recycling bins or vending machines, can benefit from the same approach the hospital took. The underlying commonality is the business case to reduce the costs from doing the rounds by connecting assets to monitor status."
Despite their diversity, Gartner believes that all current examples can be simply categorized into four basic usage scenarios, each of which presents clear business opportunities for end-user organizations.
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