Digital transformation (DX) is a trend that continues to sweep across industry sectors, supporting the shift from physical to digital assets and the adoption of new data-driven business models. Countless internet brands — including Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and Uber — have already redefined business models in their respective industries, and organizations around the globe are moving towards new approaches to compete with these agile market entrants in order to meet the evolving needs of their customers.
Alongside this transformation has been the rapid proliferation of connected devices, with IDC predicting there will be a staggering 30 billion connected “things” in use by 2020. From consumer gadgets and wearables to connected cars and smart homes, awareness, understanding and adoption of IoT is growing quickly. IoT is also beginning to touch all aspects of the enterprise, and adoption will only increase with fields as diverse as healthcare and manufacturing becoming more dependent on IoT communications to drive business processes and mission-critical systems.
Managing the transition
Although the benefits of IoT are attractive, this transformation is creating additional complexity and it’s important for the CIO to take on a guiding role through the transition as measuring the impact of DX is crucial. The success of IoT implementations will be measured by key performance indicators such as productivity, cost savings and improved customer service, as well as opportunities to introduce and monetize new digital services. It is only through close monitoring and management of the transformation that these benefits will be realized and the foundations of a successful business, driven by IoT, can be developed.
Enterprises need to be aware that as IoT supporting infrastructure is relying more on hybrid, on-premises and cloud environments, every system upgrade, new connection or third-party application added to this existing infrastructure increases service delivery complexity, infrastructure scale and adds to corporate risk. When combined with an increased speed of the application delivery pipeline that comes with IoT implementations, these changes could have serious business implications.
Companies cannot afford to have failures or incidents that will impact processes, productivity, security, or quality and availability of customer services. While some of the IoT projects may be implemented outside the IT organization, by lines of business for example, the CIO is best placed to monitor and manage the quality of the IoT implementations as part of a broader digital transformation assurance strategy. This becomes increasingly important as IoT infrastructures become larger and more complex, increasingly supporting mission-critical systems and countless devices.
The importance of business assurance
With all this in mind, the leadership role of the CIO is clear in overseeing the DX entire process and making the right decisions about how the organization can fulfill its new digital objectives. However, this can only be done effectively through a real-time and historic view of business services and their infrastructure. This aspect of business assurance, which encompasses both service performance and security management, is bolstered by continuous and nonintrusive access to smart data, such as the IP traffic that traverses the networks, and converting it into actionable insight in in real time. This capability offers a huge strategic value to the enterprise in terms of productivity, revenue, customer satisfaction and most importantly agility, necessary to outperform the competition, in executing IoT and digital transformation initiatives.
This ability to continuously monitor every action and transaction across all service delivery systems in hybrid cloud environments is of paramount importance, as it will help ensure quality and performance, mitigate corporate risk and optimize operational efficiencies of IoT services. As more and more organizations embark on their digital transformation journey and turn to IoT for a competitive edge, this will be the key to ongoing business success and even survival.
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