Across every business vertical, CIOs are constantly searching for ways to drive their businesses forward by leveraging technology and innovation.

For many organizations the Internet of Things (IoT) has increasingly started to become a key element of a digital transformation journey. IoT in its simplest definition is connecting a physical object to the internet to make it smarter.

Some experts in the industry have labelled IoT as the next industrial revolution because of its impact on the way people live and work. It is estimated that by the year 2020 there will be over 30-billion Internet connected devices.

Consumer devices, ranging from watches that can track your health metrics, connected thermostats that allow you to control the temperature in your house from anywhere in the world; and even connected cars that can almost drive themselves, have paved the way in the last several years.

Enterprise use of IoT has also been gaining steam. Shipping companies have the ability to monitor their trucks in order to optimize routes and control fuel consumption, retailers can determine what products in their stores are most popular by detecting how many people stop in front of displays; and farmers can measure moisture levels in soil to help grow that perfect produce for you to enjoy.

At Compass Group Canada we have just connected sensors to our fridges and coolers to monitor temperatures in real time, if an issue arises our managers can react in real time to fix it. This helps us on our quest to make food safer every day for millions of Canadians.

Here are a few more recent industry examples:

  • British Telecom is able to monitor sensor data from field equipment and through geo-location technology can deploy the appropriate resources to fix issues faster;
  • Rolls Royce and Microsoft have teamed up to create intelligent engines. These internet-connected engines have the ability to gather detailed information on flight, fuel, and maintenance data for better decision making;
  • State Farm offers insurance discounts to people with smart thermostats because it can make things like pipes freezing and water leaks less likely; and
  • The city of Barcelona, in Spain, has been aggressively installing sensors across the city to monitor and measure traffic. The city believes it can reduce traffic by up to 21 per cent by using the data to remodel traffic flows.

The CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) is a not-for-profit, vendor independent organization that exists to serve the needs of CIOs with over 300 members from across Canada. IoT has been a very active topic over the past several years across all of our chapters around the country.

It is projected that over $6-trillion dollars will be spent in the global IoT marketplace in the next 5 years with an approximate $13-trillion ROI, as businesses will be able to get faster and more consumer connected than ever before.

In 2016 and beyond, CIO’s will continue to lead the charge in enterprise innovation by driving IoT solutions into the marketplace that create smarter products and services, simplifying the lives of Canadians everywhere.

When deploying IoT, ensure you select devices that have update-able firmware, and be sure to change your default passwords.

Humza Teherany is the national president of the CIO Association of Canada. For more information on the association and how to join technology leaders around the nation, contact him at Humza@compassdigital.io.



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