The relentless pace of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem challenges how we work and make decisions. Technological advances wait for no one individual or organization to play catch up.
By now, you have noticed that key competitors have altered their business models, organizational structures and even corporate cultures in response to the ever-changing IoT ecosystem. Companies like GE, Siemens, Bosch, IBM and Caterpillar, to name a few, have redefined themselves regarding just what it is that they are selling these days.
These companies represent IoT leadership by example. And you?
The IoT leadership challenge asks you to reconsider the long-term relevance and value of your organization.
The IoT ecosystem may create as much as $11 trillion of global opportunities by 2026. As an IoT leader, consider the future role your organization will play in this environment. Turn IoT vision and promise into reality. Ponder whether current areas of expertise will remain relevant and valuable within the continuously-evolving IoT ecosystem.
According to McKinsey’s An Executive’s Guide to the Internet of Things: “Nearly $5 trillion [of the projected $11 trillion of IoT opportunity] would be generated almost exclusively in B2B settings: factories in the extended sense, such as those in manufacturing, agriculture, and even healthcare environments; work sites across mining, oil and gas, and construction; and, finally, offices.”
To prepare to meet this challenge, leadership teams must become experts in all IoT trends impacting their current markets within their industry verticals. In addition, the IoT leadership challenge asks C-Suite teams to become IoT clairvoyant in order to identify and quantify emerging IoT markets.
The challenges of IoT leadership require unification of mindset, processes and people from the plant floor to the C-Suite.
The multi-disciplinary workplace becomes the hallmark of IoT culture. Currently, organizations are reconfiguring and, literally, re-modelling in response to the light-speed trajectory of IoT advances. Holes are being poked in corporate silos and professional disciplines as IoT teams begin to work cross-functionally.
Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 study described the future workplace as a “networks of teams” which configure and reconfigure depending on the problem to be solved.
Does this concept describe your organization’s current cultural mindset and how you work? What are the minimum viable steps to be taken to move from where you are today, to where you need to go?
Perhaps the biggest catalyst for redefining organizational culture is how business and manufacturing processes will become operationalized in the IoT ecosystem. As manual tasks are automated and digitized, workers are freed up to do more productive and profitable tasks. However, that requirement calls for a workforce hired to be critical thinkers and innovators rather than doers and order-takers.
Meeting the IoT leadership challenge calls for flexibility and interoperability and a bigger role for the CIO.
The IoT CIO becomes the fulcrum leveraging IT-OT convergence for digital transformation. Rather than remaining in a service function, IoT leadership calls on the CIO to create a C-Suite which is comfortable and conversant across business, data and operations. In addition, the IT department becomes a critical, yet interoperable, member of operations teams in digitizing and transforming business, financial and manufacturing operations.
One focal point will be the IT function, for the Internet of Things requires it to assume a transformed role that spans beyond computers, networks, mobile devices, and data centers. Instead, IT will have to join with line managers to oversee IoT systems that are essential to improve both the top and bottom lines. – McKinsey Quarterly, August 2015
This strategy is translational and transformational, calling for a workforce and leadership which incorporate data-driven insights into critical decision making and cultural buy-in.
How is your organization meeting the IoT leadership challenge? How can you best seek simple solutions to the issues you wrestle with?
Babette Ten Haken is a management consultant, strategist, speaker and coach focused on customer success for customer retention in the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring, developing and implementing teams of collaborative technical, engineering, sales and business professionals. She serves manufacturing- and engineering- intensive companies, catalyzing teams to create enduring business outcomes. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.
Image author: JJAVA Image source: Fotolia