This morning I participated in a webinar by Harvard Business Review led by Andy Daecher of Deloitte, made possible by Cisco Jasper. Andy explored the framework surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) and the ways businesses are leveraging IoT to transform business processes. Here are my takeaways.


Business processes are going to change. Technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are helping businesses automate processes. It is no longer a question of “should we explore technologies that will streamline our business processes and innovate our business model,” but rather “HOW should we go about exploring and adopting new technologies.”

Decisions must be driven by value: new markets, new processes, product development, logistics planning, inventory management, and business model innovation. Companies must develop clear metrics to measure return on their investment and monitor these metrics closely as they launch a pilot project. The key is to start small in a module-by-module format that engages the end user. Then, once the ROI is demonstrated, scale quickly and broadly.

People are often weary of technological change and the possibility that machine learning and artificial intelligence will take away their jobs. The fact is, jobs are changing, not disappearing. The nature of work will involve the use of technology, machines, data and analytics. In order to promote adoption, start now and engage the most sceptical people in the process.

People are more likely to participate in change if they are part of the solution from the beginning. When it comes to technology, IoT, AI, and machine learning, people can be involved in modeling and pilot use. Teams of subject matter experts can build use cases informed by their experience and help layer technology into each use case. This level of involvement will ensure investment when it comes time to pilot the solution. Those who are involved will want to see that their recommendations are successful.

When businesses start small, the adoption of technology is cost effective. If the ROI is realized within one business unit, the project can become self-funding. For example, if portfolios are used to recognize performance and retain staff, there will be a measurable impact on employee turnover. This measurable impact will have a distinct dollar value and these cost savings will help fund the remainder of project implementation.