Internet of Things North America 2018 Recap

 In Internet of Things

Phillip Toso, Enterprise IoT Solutions Lead, Venture Technologies Business Applications Group, recently attended and presented at the IoT North America Event in Chicago. Here is his recap:

“IoT is not a strategy, rather it is an enabler to capture critical data to make better decisions, faster.”

During my time at the North America IoT Expo in Chicago I had the opportunity to listen to many forward-thinking leaders across various industries. Leaders from organizations such as Intel, Google, FreeWave, Omni ID, and many more.  While the hype of the number of connected devices and optimistic industry revenue forecasting is still part of the message, I found specific use cases and industry point solutions to be most interesting. Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to attend several IoT events and am excited to see some of the IoT hype followed up with point solutions rather than conceptual industry “what ifs”. My take-a-ways from my time at the NA IoT Expo are a greater need for security and standardization, increased integration capabilities, and opportunity for improved UX design considerations.

Secure Environments are Key to Any Digital Transformation Initiative Such as Internet of Things

Security was certainly the hot topic and I think we can all agree IoT security is top of mind for CTO’s, CIO’s, and other organizational leaders. While the importance of rules and regulations of IoT solutions are a critical step in the industry adoption of IoT solutions, it seems to be a slow-moving target and convoluted as to whom will govern such standards. Similar to rules on the road, IoT will need similar regulations to tame the wild west as it is today. Associations such as Secure Technology Alliance are spearheading this subject that include over 100 organizational participants.

IoT Project Planning Must Take Into Consideration Business Process Integration

Through conversations and demonstrations, every IoT company seems to invest time and money into their own IoT platform however lack ERP integration solution sets. I bring this up as my experience has shown me that not all, but some data elements from solutions need to be integrated into the company’s ERP environments for various reasons. Examples include, but not limited to, inventory levels for financial statements and procurement planning activities, asset tracking solutions with ERP asset management modules to name a few. While IoT solutions are implemented to increase efficiencies, decrease costs, or create new revenue streams, we are finding ourselves with multiple systems for multiple solutions that appear to be creating inefficiencies along the way. This leads me to the opportunity I had to present at the NA IoT Expo.

Moving Beyond “Hobby” Phase of Real Business Initiative Considerations

I had the opportunity to share my experiences in a breakout session. My topic included prototypes and what to consider. While most prototypes fail, I think we can all reflect on these failures, and understand that most short comings are not derived from the actual technology working or not working, rather oversights who we are designing the solution for and its business outcomes. For IoT to move past the “hobby” stage we have to focus on the client, users, and functionality first.

Consider your personal experience with anything you used for the first time. If it was cumbersome, clunky, and difficult to use would you purchase it again, or look at other options? This behavior is real and present in the IoT arena. Taking the focus off our ideas and solutions and traversing it to the client’s real business initiatives will aid in our design, point solutions, and overall industry success and progression.


The 3rd Wave of the Internet Evolution

John Rinaldi, Business Development Manager at RTA, stated that we are in the 3rd wave of the internet evolution. The first wave was websites, the second was the applications for phones and tablets, and the third is IoT. This message certainly resonated with me. Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “If your business is not online, you are not in business”, broadcasted decades ago. The same message is being aired for IoT to companies and municipalities. Because I was at the forefront of each of these evolutions, I remember all the hype and who said it would not take off and who was on the bandwagon. While some experts sense we are still at the infant stages of IoT and others are part of teams creating solutions for autonomous driving cars or building connected cities, I think we can all agree IoT solutions are touching more lives and business initiatives than ever before. And, will continue snowballing in the coming years. I truly look forward to what next year’s Expo brings and how the state of the industry has transcended.


Collaborating with Other IoT Experts Brings Innovative Change Quicker

Overall, the event was certainly a success, a learning opportunity, and a great place for industry collaboration. While technical requirements for solutions are certainty important, I look to events such as these to seek what others have encountered when considering solutions for clients and their experiences; thus I look forward to a greater mix of business professionals and technical teams in the future.

If you would like to continue the conversation with Phil, email For more information on our Enterprise Internet of Things solutions click here .

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