IoT mandates CIOs To Turn Into Business Managers

by Preeti S    Nov 17, 2014

Naveen Chopra

The Internet of Things is certainly the buzzword with its potential to change the technology landscape in businesses. Machina Research data cites that the global IoT market in 2020 will be worth $373 billion in revenue and India will account for $10-12 billion.

Even as Frost & Sullivan forecasts 80 billion connected devices in 2020, the proliferation of devices in enterprises mandates IT managers to define business processes that can be evolved with IoT.

Taking the right steps, Vodafone has already entered the IoT market, which is predicted to be $ 8.9 trillion by 2020. Vodafone has acquired connected car company Cobra Automotove and has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

“We want to be a value addition partner, not just connectivity partners,” said Naveen Chopra, director, Vodafone Business Services, on the sidelines of CeBIT India in Bengaluru.

He feels the IoT is not the future, but the present. Explaining the company’s machine-to-machine ventures, he says, be it mobile, CRM, accounts or service management, connectivity is fundamental to build an ecosystem.

Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. launched e2o electric vehicle, the first truly ‘connected car’ with Vodafone’s machine-to-machine (M2M) communication services.

“I feel IoT is a bit overhyped word. It is all prevalent now. We need to figure out how we can build the confidence of customers around it,” he says.

For Chopra, the definition of IoT is about devices, connectivity and applications. “We are at an infection point where anything new is limited by our imagination. “It is quite an exciting time. We need to be competitive,” he says.

Meanwhile, with increasing demand for smart cities, connected cars and m-health, Oracle is collaborating with Vodafone to develop IoT systems.  

Changing role of IT managers

Chopra says it is essential that the IT managers think like businessmen. “They need to be business savvy and act like business managers. With every technology adoption, they need to ask what business benefit it offers to the company,” he says.

IoT is poised to change not just the business processes, but also how various departments in an enterprise work. That could be operations, supply, finance, HR,etc. Talking about how CIOs can gear up to new challenges, Gartner Fellow Hung LeHong once raised his concerns, saying: “Regardless of the eventual stance, we believe CIOs should have an opinion, and should participate in innovating and in testing the business cases for these technologies in the early stages.”