Finding Value in the Internet of Things

Gartner Research recently conducted a symposium exploring the Internet of Things. Gartner analysts are studying four fundamental usage models that could help businesses take advantage of the emerging technologies. Their goal is to help businesses see through the cluttered of information flooding the market concerning the Internet of Things.

“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.”[1]

Mr. Lehong explains that successful utilization of the Internet of Things in one field may be able to apply to another field. For instance, healthcare may use the emerging communication protocols between devices to monitor usage, collect data, and manage devices. Their methodologies could apply to any company that uses remote equipment like a vending machine company, a recycling company, and more. Gartner suggests four key areas:

  • Manage
  • Monetize
  • Operate
  • Extend

1. Manage — Looking at the Status of the Asset to Improve Utilization – Think of all the assets within a given business: onsite and offsite assets. Businesses could monitor, manage, optimize and inventory assets across a complex, a city, a region and even across the globe.

2. Monetize — Charging for Usage of the Asset on an Incremental Basis – A business can track usage of specific assets and even determine the best locations for specific money-generating assets. Businesses can successful track, adjust, and manage locations of given assets.

3. Operate — Using the Asset to Control Its Surroundings – Drawing from the latest thinking in operation technology, Gartner suggests that business can operate devices at various locations based on specific governance rules. For example, lighting, watering, and power usage could all be set to adjust based on specific environmental conditions.

4. Extend — Providing Additional Digital Information or Services Through an Asset – Businesses can extend reach and support through all devices. All connected devices could have the ability for pinpoint, specific upgrades, or other support services.

[1] Sony Shetty. “Gartner Identifies Four Fundamental Usage Models to Unlock Value from the Internet of Things.” Gartner Research, April 3, 2014.