Is corporate BPM prepared for the IoT?

Businesses have had to maintain maximum IT agility in the past few years to seamlessly embrace the new and advantageous technologies hitting the marketplace. Mobility, the cloud, advanced analytics and now the Internet of Things have presented endless opportunities to improve at an operational level, as well as challenges from a management standpoint. However, when firms have tight, modernized and digitized business process management and workflow frameworks, adoption will tend to be a bit more straightforward. 

Leaders need to recognize the importance of agility in the modern era, ensuring that they are doing everything in their power to position their companies for success in today's marketplace and understanding that this begins with IT optimization. The IoT will present myriad opportunities to improve from a strategic standpoint, and to gather and analyze even more information than has been possible thus far, but a faulty document, workflow or business process management strategy can quickly extinguish these opportunities. 

A common goal
Gartner recently reported that 43 percent of respondents to a new survey said that they expect to have the IoT up and running in their operations by the end of 2016, showing just how quickly this trend is accelerating. Much like mobility, the IoT is likely being intensified in business because of the consumerization of IT, in which employees are bringing in the new gadgets in their pockets, regardless of what types of devices their employers might offer. 

Still, the researchers affirmed that organizations are already conscious of the requirements involved and steps that need to be taken for proper deployment of the IoT. 

The IoT is spreading quickly, and firms must recognize the impacts on workflow and BPM. The IoT is spreading quickly, and firms must recognize the impacts on workflow and BPM.

"While there is near universal acceptance of the importance of the IoT, less than a third of organizations surveyed were actively exploiting it," said Chet Geschickter, research director at Gartner. "This is largely because of two reasons. The first set of hurdles are business-related. Many organizations have yet to establish a clear picture of what benefits the IoT can deliver, or have not yet invested the time to develop ideas for how to apply IoT to their business. The second set of hurdles are the organizations themselves. Many of the survey participants have insufficient expertise and staffing for IoT and lack clear leadership."

Furthermore, Gartner noted that organizations that tend to have more assets, including manufacturing, will likely be far ahead of others with respect to adoption in the near future. 

Enriching IT 
Firms have already widely overhauled their BPM, workflow and document management frameworks in the past few years through the use of digital services and solutions, as well as enhanced automation. These types of moves will be critical for not only the IoT, but also for the next stages of analytics technology's evolution and the rapidly transforming preferences of workforce members. 

To achieve optimal revenues, profit margins, productivity and efficiency, leaders will need to continue to place their chips on the enrichment of their IT departments and capabilities.