Editor's note

The place of IoT in business has changed tremendously over the past few years, shifting from a "should we?" conversation in organizations to a "when will we?" one. While the benefits of IoT are widely understood, IoT adoption is not without its challenges. Companies want the insights IoT analytics offers, but do they have the teams and resources to make sense of the data? An enterprise may have enjoyed the outcome of a small IoT pilot, but can it scale it for widespread use?

The use of IoT in business is clearly growing. By 2020, more than 65% of all enterprises will adopt IoT, according to Gartner, with advisory firm Bain & Company predicting enterprise IoT applications will generate more than double that of consumer IoT -- more than $300 billion by 2020.

Here, we explore the industries shaping the IoT landscape, why data is king, challenges you're likely to encounter and how organizations are thinking strategically about their IoT opportunities.

1IoT in business is booming

The internet of things has enjoyed its share of growth predictions -- from statistics on the astronomical number of devices that will be deployed in the next five years to the amount of money IoT will add to the economy.

While consumer IoT and smart home devices steal much of the spotlight, it's in the enterprise where IoT will truly shine. An IoT business has the opportunity to move beyond standard, static business models to one that provides customers with new experiences, generates new revenue models, offers cost savings, improves processes and efficiencies -- or perhaps all of the above.

Learn from these articles about the various applications of IoT in business and the various verticals in which it's making its mark, from traditional industries such as healthcare to newer applications like usage-based insurance.

2It's all about the data

Regardless of which vertical it's deployed in, IoT is all about the data. Whether it be wearables, smart buildings or connected machines, it's not the things themselves that are important, but the value they create when they are networked together and their data is amassed.

However, it's not as easy as installing some sensors, gathering raw data and magically garnering insights. Connected data must be analyzed and interpreted properly to reap meaning.

Here, learn about the various considerations to keep in mind when it comes to not only collecting data, but also deciding who owns it, how to share it across enterprise groups so various teams can use it, and why -- despite the fact that standards are critical -- you shouldn't wait for them to come of age to adopt IoT.

3IoT business challenges -- and solutions

You know what they say -- no pain, no gain. Enterprise IoT deployments are no exception. Fortunately, many have walked the IoT path ahead of you and have insights to share on how to overcome common challenges.

From the get-go, IoT security has been a major source of apprehension for organizations -- and it remains so. In a 2018 DigiCert survey, 82% of enterprise respondents said security is a top concern, followed closely by privacy at 78%.

The following articles provide valuable insights into the security of things and how to safely deploy a connected enterprise. Read up on how to protect your organization and its devices, and learn the role the government has to play in securing IoT. Also, take a look at how security automation tools help reduce IoT threats, as well as the state of IoT privacy.

4Strategic considerations for IoT in business

Getting a firm vision down in writing of where your organization is headed with its IoT initiatives requires strategic forethought and then determining your long-term trajectory across several domains. It may seem obvious that a clear strategy will put your enterprise on the path to success -- but remember that strategy must include a plan on how to handle the challenges your organization may encounter.

It's important to remember, too, that the maturity of the different facets of IoT -- from frameworks to wireless networking -- are at different stages. Also, there are inevitably challenges that are yet to be discovered.

Here, get insights into the strategic decisions your enterprise needs to make as it takes its IoT journey. We cover how to develop an IoT policy, choosing the proper connectivity, pairing IoT in business with the right software and systems, and more.