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4 things to do now to get ready for the Internet of Things

Robert L. Mitchell | April 22, 2014
As CIO at Boeing, Ted Colbert is no stranger to the Internet of Things. For more than a decade, the aerospace giant has deployed thousands of communications-enabled smart devices to sense, control and exchange data across the factory floor, on the battlefield, and within the company's 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

"You need to have IT consultants who can talk to the OT people so they can build a business plan and present it to a governance body," says Noga. "We try to be supportive of the Center for Connected Health and provide a lab setting for them to do their testing."

The Partners HealthCare IT unit also helps the center figure out whether the technology will scale. "Things work in the lab, but in the real world, when thousands of people are hitting on the system, we have run into issues. So we sit down with the CTO and his team and go over the architecture," Kvedar says.

4. Stay Ahead of the Curve

The most important thing is for CIOs to maintain strong relationships with business units — and keep in front of the competition. "It's a partnership," says Austin. And it's the CIO's job to establish good governance over the process to ensure that the business executes in a way that doesn't put the company at risk. "What the business needs is very important," says Colbert. "Innovate, but balance that by protecting the crown jewels of the company."

Plan ahead before you're approached for help with an IoT project, because there isn't time to do an extensive study, adds McKenna-Doyle. "You need to say, 'Here are the questions you need to ask,' and we need to have them covered," she says. "Be flexible and make sure everyone understands the risk/reward profile."

IT may feel intimidated by the speed at which this is moving, "but for CIOs who can see the value of the data from these interactions, this is a great time to have a seat at the table," she adds. "Now is the time to embrace this."


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