IT Strategy

The Accountant (Florent Willems)

The CPA and the Internet of Things

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | One Comment

No, this is not a modern-day technology Aesop fable.

But it is yet another observation in the neck-breaking evolution of the Internet of Things narrative in which eye candies tend to divert attention away from critical business functions such as customer billing.

The Internet of Things is transforming every business. Early discussions about IoT were all about connecting industrial assets, but as the technology is maturing to become the fuel of the connected enterprise, its impact is going to be profound, touching every part of the business and every function in its value chain.

Even accountants recognize the potentially disruptive impact IoT is going to have on their profession. An article titled The Internet of Things: The CPA’s Role in the New World of Business, published by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, suggests that “the duties of CPAs will continue to transform and integrate with IT systems, possibly leading to consolidation”. Read More

The Open Book (Juan Gris, 1925)

An Obvious Observation About Open-Source Software

By | IT Strategy | 2 Comments

I spoke with a client at a recent Aras PLM event about open-source software. I’d like to share a point of view that may be obvious to some, but perhaps not to everyone thinking about using open-source software.

The first thing people think about when they hear “open source” is: “Open source! its free!”

And then they say, “But wait, if anyone can, as the GNU license states, freely use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute the software, then what about code quality? and security?” Read More

Sarolta Bán

IoT Security Through Obscurity?

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | One Comment

A recent Dassault Systèmes blog What’s next in the Internet of Things?  discusses the company’s view of the IoT and, of course, addresses the lingering concerns about the potential security risks in IoT-connected devices and the threats of hacking and infiltrating public IoT networks.

The article offers the following comment from Krisztián Flautner of ARM: “In theory, IoT devices are quite attackable because the security on them is often not very good. But, at the same time, you also have to know a lot about those devices and how they’re configured. To me, I’m not actually sure if the [hacking] threat goes up or down.”

I find this attitude a bit cavalier. Read More

The Moneylender and His Wife (Quentin Metsys, 1514)

Monetizing IoT: Show Me the Money!

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | 5 Comments

Seeking Funding for an Internet of Things Project?

“Too expensive”; “Very long time to a positive cash flow”; “We do not consider any project with ROI time longer than 18 months”.  These are some of the typical responses and pushbacks early adopters of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technology often encounter when they seek funding from corporate management.

Indeed, almost every market study of IoT adoption ranks concerns about rosy, yet unconvincing return on investment (ROI) as one of the top hurdles to enterprise-wide adoption of IoT.

Admittedly, many green-field IoT projects require significant investments over an extended period of time: designing new products, creating a network infrastructure, and establishing new business and customer relationships models. Although falling hardware prices, availability of cloud-based IoT services, and a growing number of IoT platforms make plunging into the IoT water easier, more economical and less risky, for many, long-term ROI remains elusive.

But should the Industrial Internet of Things be considered just yet another IT project, like implementing a new ERP system? Or does an investment in a promising technology and new business constructs warrants a different, more strategic, approach? Read More

Soft Watch at the Moment of First Explosion by Salvador Dali c. 1954

Procrastination and the Internet of Things

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | One Comment

Time Value of Information

Fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink will surely agree: In many situations, it makes sense to act promptly and decisively upon arrival of information indicating a problem.

You can clearly apply this logic in industrial manufacturing setting. For instance, if a machine on the manufacturing line has drifted out of spec and starts spewing bad parts, it should be shut down immediately in order to reduce the number of bad parts it produces. Then, the machine needs to be repaired equally expeditiously in order to restore production as soon as possible. In this example, the impact, or the business value, of the decision is the highest when a quick and decisive action is taken. The longer we wait to shut down production, the more bad parts are going to be produced and scrapped.

As Lee Iacocca remarked: “Even a correct decision is wrong when it was taken too late.”

Read More