By Phil Carter, Lexmark: Take advantage of IoT by combining data from connected devices in the field with traditional enterprise systems.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is looked to as a potential savior to fix all that ails device manufacturers. It can be a conduit to exceptional customer experience; a free-flowing data bridge between devices in the field and technical support teams in research and development (R&D), manufacturing, and operations; and even a pathway to move from selling a hardware widget to accessing a recurring revenue stream.

The problem is IoT often falls short of that grand vision. The majority of companies that embark on this journey find themselves stuck in pilot mode after months and even years of effort.

Why? The reasons are many. It is difficult to build a platform – many vendors will dump a bucket of software building blocks in front of a company and they are on their own from there. The time to ROI is too long as there can be much trial and error involved. Even if sensor data can be harvested from devices, it often cannot be combined with other key data sets from core business systems like customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource management (ERP) tools, a necessary step to unlock actionable insights. And often IoT pilots turn into science fair experiments starting with and focused on technology instead of a clear plan for business outcomes.

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SOURCE Lexmark

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