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April 20, 2015

IoT needs enterprise architecture to deliver business value

Information of everything opportunities and risks.

By Joao Lima

The key to managing the risks while fully capitalising on unprecedented opportunities for businesses is an IoT architecture strategy.

The information of everything enables detailed insight into what customers want, and how to connect their needs with the journey planned by an organisation for its consumers.

Mike Walker, research director at Gartner highlighted different trends that make the IoT particularly relevant to enterprise architecture as a discipline.

Mr Walker mentioned the shift from the "thing" to composition highlighting that while individual "things" are perhaps not incredibly interesting, using their connectivity to group them together to measure certain data, or to form new business models and uses, creates almost unlimited potential.

As for convergence, IoT can lead to creating new opportunities by linking and combining people, places, and information.

By revealing better ways to measure and operate the organisation through new and powerful analytics, IoT will intrude on established procedures opening way for next-level business. And despite its many opportunities, businesses will be faced with new risks for legal, regulatory and reputational exposure.

Gartner defends that an enterprise architecture will assess the impact in terms of what information will be generated, what the most important information is and how it can be protected.

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Mr. Walker said: "Enterprise architects have a great opportunity to position themselves at the heart of digital businesses.

"This could take the form of establishing a business competency centre that explores how the IoT can create innovative breakthroughs for the organization’s business models, products and services through rapid experimentation.

"In establishing a business competency centre, enterprise architects need to determine the potential impact, both positive and negative, of IoT technologies and then create actionable deliverables that can define which business opportunities should be pursued as result.

"Organizations must understand the profound impact new sources of information will have.

"Enterprise architects are best positioned to discuss and enable the most lucrative opportunities in partnership with business unit and IT leaders. At the same time, they must work with chief data officers and security officers to structure this data in a way that mitigates the worst risks of pursuing these opportunities."

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