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The Internet of relevant things

Achieving strategic goals by bridging business objectives with IOT context and data.

Read time 1min 30sec

The professor and the woodsman

Some years ago, the head of the Industrial Engineering Department of Yale University stated: "If I had only one hour to solve a problem, I would spend up to two-thirds of that hour attempting to define what the problem is."(1)

In the same vein, a woodsman was once asked: "What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?"

He answered: "I would spend the first two-and-a-half minutes sharpening my axe."(2)

Regardless of your industry or task, it's important to be prepared, carefully defining your objectives and selecting the tools needed to achieve them.

Sadly, this lesson is often overlooked when it comes to Internet of things (IOT) projects. Whether it's the allure - or misunderstanding - of the IOT concept, fear of being left behind by competitors, or pressure to do something new, companies frequently rush head-first into IOT projects 1without clearly defining objectives, value propositions, or the suitability of tools. The result is a high rate of failure for IOT projects, and disillusionment among customers.(3)

Part of the problem is that the phrase, Internet of things, is misleading and deceptive. Originally intended to describe an ecosystem of interconnected machines, the turn of phrase has been taken literally to mean connecting all devices to the Internet. The overarching objective of IOT is not to network every device in an enterprise, much less connect every device to the Internet. IOT devices are vessels for context and data, and only relevant information - and devices - need to be tapped.

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