Even as the internet of things is being driven by marketing departments who in turn are working with product engineers, it’s also creating another headache inside companies. When enterprises deploy sensors in cars and workplaces, or when executives bring their own connected devices (BYOIoT anyone?), IT departments are called on to support them.
“The IT staff is suddenly having to manage these connected fleets of cars, even though they don’t have the expertise around connectivity,” said Bill Zujewski, CMO and EVP of product strategy with Axeda, a company that helps manage and connect sensors, cars and whatever else their customers would like to put on the internet. It’s a lot like the disruption that the mobile era’s BYOD problems had on the organization, only this time it’s potentially more pervasive.
And it brings up the question: should connected devices really be under the purview of corporate IT? Or will it be so embedded in everyday products that the providers of wellness trackers or energy management systems be responsible for servicing it?
Even if the IT departments saddled with managing a sensor deployment don’t have experience today — or the marketing department wants to test out an idea by putting apps on a dishwasher — it’s still unclear to me whether corporations will want to build their own connected offices and therefore need to bring a lot of this expertise in-house. At that point, it will be fun to see how well (and where) the internet of things gets integrated into the org charts.
Since the internet of things should pervade just about everything — allowing people to track collaboration and employee wellness goals to making sure the buildings are running efficiently — the smartest companies will make sure that everyone is thinking about how connectivity applies to their products, while internal devices are managed as part of the building’s infrastructure, HR, IT and even executive staff. Even if the IT department does get called on from time to time when something breaks.