SAG_Twitter_MEME_IoT_Integration_Everywhere.jpgThe Internet of Things (IoT) is abuzz this year with talk of smarter Things, plus the increased use of edge computing for analytics.

As my colleague Bart Schouw said in his 2017 IoT predictions, we will soon see a transition to edge computing as organizations move critical analytics closer to IoT devices.

And as devices themselves get smarter — in the home, the factory, the car— there will be more and more need for integration technology to act as a “broker” in delivering the data. Data is only valuable if it gets delivered.

This year we are seeing more and more companies deploying real IoT implementations, but few have come to grips with how to take advantage of the resultant data. This year we predict that the value of IoT projects will begin to pay off as companies better understand how to use the data.

That’s why the role of integration in IoT becomes infinitely more important as companies begin to focus on using the data as a competitive differentiator.

Although much of the buzz in the marketplace is about cool gadgets, the real value in IoT is the data. For example, let’s look at the retail industry. As a retailer, your organization needs visibility into IoT data not just to visualize its promise, but you also need to find a way to use the data to improve your customers’ experience across all the touchpoints in their customer journey, whether that’s mobile, web, email, POS, GPS, or anywhere your customers come into contact with your organization.

Let’s say your web customers seem to get hung up between a sales promotion page and checkout; or your mobile app promises product availability in the customer’s local brick and mortar store, but when they get there they find that the data was wrong. Then you need to analyze the data to figure out why the customer experience of your touchpoints is flawed.

Competition these days is cutthroat, especially in retail, so you need to offer customers an experience that sets you apart from other, more commoditized retailers. You need to turn your IoT data into a differentiator.

This is where integration can help. There is data everywhere —coming from IoT, internal systems, external systems, across customer interaction points — and you need to have a holistic view of it all. Integration technology is absolutely essential to ensuring quality data from those cool gadgets to your website to your mobile apps.

In the heat of the IoT data explosion, the time has come to ensure that your integration architecture can handle and grow to meet these new needs. In the world of integration, data is king.

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