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Choose Your IoT Technologies Wisely

This is my second analyst perspective based on our IoT Benchmark Research. In the first, I discussed the business focus of IoT applications and some of the challenges organizations are facing. Now I’ll share some of the findings about technologies used in IoT applications and the impact those technologies appear to have on the success of users’ projects.

The IoT market has developed unevenly up to now. As part of our benchmark methodology, we use the Ventana Research Performance Index, a research-based evaluation of the performance of organizations in a given market or with respect to a business or IT process. In our IoT research, our analysis suggests that knowledge and interest vary widely. We see nearly equal distribution of organizations at each of four levels of the performance hierarchy. In our Performance Index, we rate 24 percent of organizations that have embraced IoT and operational intelligence as Innovative, but nearly as many are still operating at the lowest Tactical level.

One dimension of our performance analysis looks at the technologies organizations are using, and here many organizations are deploying IoT applications with their existing business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing tools. These organizations are achieving some success in their IoT implementations. While this is a great way to get started, the research suggests that organizations can do even better.

Specifically, we find that three quarters of organizations are using business intelligence tools as part of their IoT efforts. As a whole, 62 percent of participants said they are satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their applications and tools for IoT process. However, 15 percent of participants are using specialized tools that are distinct from their business intelligence tools, and this latter group reported even higher levels of satisfaction (77%). Those using custom-coded solutions (11%) reported the lowest levels of satisfaction.

We also find that many organizations are applying analytics to sensor data in familiar environments such as data warehouses and data marts (30%) and RDBMSs (22%). While these are the two most common platforms, the organizations most satisfied with their ability to capture and correlate events are using more modern technologies such as NoSQL databases, Hadoop and Amazon S3. Some organizations recognize the limitations of using their familiar environments. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of participants reported that their operational BI and data warehousing platforms are inadequate, which leads to difficulty with stream processing, correlation and other analyses.

Our research finds significant benefits of IoT deployments. More than half of organizations (56%) aim to identify organizational or revenue-producing improvements with their current or planned deployments. An organization can certainly start down this path with its existing BI and data-warehousing infrastructure and achieve some of the benefits IoT offers. However, we encourage them to consider how and when to move beyond these familiar approaches in order or maximize the value of IoT investments. Let me know if you have had challenges with your IoT technologies and if you are doing an assessment to select the right ones as we can definitely help your efforts.

Regards,

David Menninger

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David is responsible for the overall research direction of data, information and analytics technologies at Ventana Research covering major areas including Analytics, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Information Management and IoT. Prior to joining Ventana Research, David was the Head of Business Development & Strategy at Pivotal a division of EMC, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Vertica Systems, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Oracle, Applix, InforSense and IRI Software. David can be found on Twitter at @dmenningerVR.

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