The road to proactive IoT engagement paved with good intentions but fraught with hurdles and possibilities.
Cyber security is still a pressing challenge. Threat actors continue to discover and attack unsecured endpoints and vulnerable networks. Government regulators are rushing to catch up, and that creates a tricky environment for innovative organizations to navigate. (See, for example, the Food and Drug Administration's evolving stance on cyber security for medical devices.)
As consumers push businesses to provide more devices and IoT-friendly services, business leaders must figure out how to guarantee connectivity for an increasingly dense network. Look at video streaming: Streaming service subscription numbers jumped 50% from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported. This surge in bandwidth-sucking applications stressed server-client models, pushing businesses to find new answers—and many turned to providers who can carry them into an IoT-enabled future.
Still, the possibilities seem endless. McKinsey highlights opportunities in business applications in customer-and device-facing functionality that add value through insights. It also highlights enablement platforms leveraged to collect, import and process data. Cloud computing and environmental sensors present growth opportunities, too.
Business leaders will find value by minding the risks inherent in any IoT venture. These largely fall under the security umbrella and include privacy concerns and device vulnerabilities at the manufacturer level, but they extend into the strategic space, too. There is a risk of analysis paralysis in choosing the right IoT business model (monetizing IoT data versus an outcome-based focus, for example) and a risk of ballooning, overaggressive roadmaps.