4 New Roles That I&O Plays in IoT

May 23, 2019

Contributor: Laurence Goasduff

Why I&O leaders need to take a more active leadership role in their organization's IoT initiatives.

Digital is the top priority for CIOs in 2019. And they will look to  I&O leaders to deliver and support new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT). This is easier said than done.  

With stagnant budgets and decreased funding for traditional infrastructure, I&O leaders need to stay relevant and prove  they can support digital business. Digital initiatives require a fundamentally different strategy from traditional I&O that requires a higher degree of involvement with the rest of the business from the very beginning.    

“By 2022, 80% of leading I&O organizations will devise I&O strategies for digital business initiatives such as artificial intelligence and IoT,” says Sanjit Ganguli, Vice President Analyst, Gartner. “Especially IoT projects are a place where I&O leaders can test their new strategies and prove their worth to the business.”


The most successful IoT projects require a holistic organizational approach from three distinctive groups:

  • I&O — Provides integration, communications, analytics and the underlying infrastructure
  • Lines of business — Focus on goal setting and resource allocation
  • Operations teams — Focus on product design and functionality

Tasks such as project management and security often fall within all three groups. However, I&O should be aware of all IoT initiatives and create appropriate processes and documentation.

I&O leaders must take a more active leadership role

Each IoT initiative represents a different potential role for I&O with different levels of influence, responsibility and ownership. I&O leaders must aim to take an active role for any IoT initiative that needs I&O support.

The goal should be to: (1) assess what programs and initiatives exist and what their role is; (2) identify areas where they can assert increased strategic ownership.

Read more: Gartner Top 10 Trends Impacting Infrastructure & Operations for 2019

Gartner estimates that over the next several years, more and more I&O teams will have driver, implementer or operator responsibility over their organizations' IoT initiatives. I&O leaders should take heed and move from a bystander role, wherever practicable, to a more driver-oriented role.

Here are four roles I&O leaders may find themselves in. Gartner explains the four new roles that infrastructure and operations leaders play in IoT projects. 

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