Robert RhameA Gartner research director discusses the challenges facing midmarket CIOs looking to install IoT solutions in organizations with limited bandwidth who lack IoT security skills.

There’s more danger in the Internet of Things than many people think.

“It’s more than just putting in some sensors.”

Robert Rhame, research director with the midsize enterprise analyst team at Gartner, spoke at the Midsize Enterprise Summit Spring 2018 conference in Orlando. Rhame says the reality of life in the midmarket is you can’t just add full-time employees when adopting the Internet of Things.

Indeed, midsize enterprises are challenged by the potential complexity of IoT, combined with their restricted technology adoption capacity and skills. CIOs looking to capitalize on IoT must choose technologies and partners that complement their capabilities and reduce IoT risks.

IoT: A risk-reward proposition

Though there are risks, there are also rewards from IoT implementation.

“What we see with the Internet of Things is people see value almost immediately.”

But before you go jumping into the world of IoT looking for that immediate value, Rhame has some advice: “If you take anything away from this session, it’s this. Proceed. With. Caution. Not all ideas are worth the effort. Think it through.”

What should you do first?

“Get together with the business person. Think about what you are trying to accomplish and what happens if you don’t accomplish it. Make sure whatever you are doing assures the business outcome will be achieved.”

  1. Identify the tasks that need to be completed
  2. Imagine the eventualities that will occur when those tasks are completed
  3. Fill in any gaps

IoT isn’t DIY

If you’re thinking of keeping IoT implementation in-house, think again.

“You will have someone on your staff who says, ‘I can do it.’ No! Stop right there. What happens if they leave? Don’t risk it. You want a solution that is end-to-end, tight, easy to manage and doesn’t require a lot of customization. Don’t just try to cobble it together yourself. Look for something that is end-to-end complete, and pay attention to how they will update.”

Rhame says simply, “Control what you can. Pick your battles. Select end-to-end solutions from proven providers with well-established vertical specific use cases, and only target solutions where the ROI is achievable in the first year.”

So if you’re thinking of making an IoT play, think positive, but be cautious.