4 New Roles That I&O Plays in IoT

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

Organizations are rapidly increasing the number of their Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives, yet many infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams have little to no knowledge of or involvement with them.

“Our research shows that 59% of IoT initiatives are being planned without IT’s direct involvement, or that IT is only involved after crucial I&O decisions have already been made,” says Sanjit Ganguli, research vice president at Gartner.

I&O leaders must be aware of IoT projects because, in the future, they may be asked to play a nonbystander role

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 (LOBs) — 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.

“Many IoT initiatives will require I&O involvement at some level. The first steps for I&O are to identify and track all IoT initiatives by surveying business/leadership, cataloging current and planned IoT activities, and creating processes,” adds Ganguli.

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I&O leaders must take a more active leadership role

Each IoT initiative represents a different potential role for I&O. Each one also has a different level of influence, responsibility and ownership. Once current or planned IoT initiatives are discovered, or are found to be lacking and I&O support requirements determined, I&O leaders must identify opportunities to take a more active role. Their 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.

Gartner estimates that by 2020, 40% of I&O teams will have driver, implementer or operator responsibility over their organizations’ IoT initiatives, up from 5% in 2018. I&O leaders should take heed and move from a bystander role, wherever practicable, to a more driver-oriented role.

“As mentioned, nearly 60% of IoT projects may never involve I&O, nor should they,” Ganguli explains. “However, I&O must be aware of such activities because, in the future, it may be asked to play a nonbystander role.

Here are four roles I&O leaders may find themselves in.

Gartner and 4_Roles I&O Leaders Can Play in IoT

Gartner clients can also read more about the role of I&O leaders in IoT projects in the report "I&O Leaders Must Get Involved With Current or Planned IoT Initiatives," by Sanjit Ganguli et al.

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