The 4 new roles that I&O plays in IoT


More and more organizations are realizing the importance of including Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives in their processes.


Typically any IoT project requires the involvement of:


  • I&O Group: For integration, communications, analytics and underlying infrastructure
  • Lines of business (LOBs): For goal setting and resource allocation
  • Operations teams: To focus on product design and functionality


However, there still remain many infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams that have scant to negligible knowledge of or any involvement with these projects. Understandably, many IoT projects might not require the intervention of an I&O leader. Nevertheless, I&O should be fully aware of these activities as they might need to get involved at any stage.


Here’s a quick glance at the four roles that an I&O leader could be expected to play in the lifespan of an IoT project:

  • I&O is not involved at any stage of the I&O initiative.
  • Instead, the LOB or operations team leads the pilot, implementation and operation of the initiative.
  • I&O does not drive the IoT initiative but it may be called in later, during the post-pilot stage, to operate the IoT solution.
  • The task includes managing the endpoints, edge infrastructure, connection to the IoT platform and integration with enterprise systems (network, server and storage).
  • Some analytics of IoT data might also be required.
  • Often this role leads to playing the implementer role as well.
  • Once again, I&O does not drive the IoT initiative; it comes from the LOB or operations team.
  • However, I&O is responsible for the implementation of the IoT initiative, which includes the edge, platform and integration into existing enterprise architecture; this is usually after the pilot phase has been completed
  • I&O could be involved in operating the IoT systems, but in most cases this is an inherited role.
  • I&O is the main initiator behind the IoT initiative.
  • I&O guides the complete initiative, right from business justification, project pilot, technical decision making, implementation and operations

By 2020, 40% of I&O teams will have driver, implementer or operator responsibility over their organizations’ IoT initiatives, up from 5% in 2018. This is a clear indication of why I&O leaders now need to take heed and rapidly move from a bystander role, wherever feasible, to a more driver-oriented role.


To learn more about how I&O can get involved in IoT projects, join us at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference 2019, from 6th - 7th May at Mumbai, India.

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