By Barton Goldenberg
When a new technology like the Internet of Things arrives on the scene, I find it helpful to ask this question: “What are the people, process and technology issues that need to be overcome in order to fully exploit this new technology?” Below are my current observations.
- Providing necessary training to corporate users who are responsible for utilizing the Internet of Things technology to achieve deeper business insights. Necessary time needs to be placed aside to ensure that proper training takes place.
- Overcoming people concerns around data privacy.
- Readying the organization to systematically collect, process, and utilize data insight coming from the Internet of Things sensors and devices.
- Determining the impact of the Internet of Things on the organization’s customer engagement activities, including for example new customer loyalty program opportunities.
- Enhancing technographic profiles to take into account how customers participate in the Internet of Things and the resulting impact this has on achieving meaningful customer segmentation.
- Establishing privacy policies that allow customers to actively participate in the Internet of Things.
- Addressing ongoing concerns regarding security of the Internet of Things infrastructure. The small, embedded computers at the center of the Internet of Things have minimal processing power or memory so the security software on Internet of Things applications tends to be elementary. There have been cases of hackers hacking and taking control of Webcams, televisions and even a refrigerator plugged into a computer network to send out spam.
- Closing the gap around the disparity of prevalent wireless standards that impacts the ability for sensors and devices to talk with each other.
- Closing infrastructural gaps that lie between the sensors in things at the edge of the Internet and the data collection and analysis performed by the servers in the Cloud.
- Resolving middleware issues that impact the services connected to this Cloud. These issues include standards, interoperability, integration and data management.
There are also a number of other Internet of Things issues including product liability, intellectual property rights and regulatory compliance. I could understand why one could read the above list of people, process, technology and related issues and conclude that the Internet of Things is not ready for prime time. Yet I remember when Internet technology arrived on the scene in the 1990s. Critics pointed to its shortcomings in areas like standardization, security and lack of regulation, which would prevent the Internet to meaningfully impact people’s lives. Yet the value that people found in using the Internet were so grand that businesses and government cooperated together to overcome its specified shortcomings and bring about a worldwide revolution whose impact we are only beginning to feel. I predict that over the next three to five years the Internet of Things technology will undergo a similar degree of cooperation among business and government to bring about a far-reaching transformation in the way organizations engage with their customers and partners.
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Barton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.