Consulting Firms Evolve with the Internet of Things

Consulting firms are preparing for how the Internet of Things will affect multiple industries, including consulting itself.

Various industries, from B2B, B2C, non-profits and government entities, are interested in the burgeoning technologies from the Internet of Things (IoT). This concept entails interconnected devices that can provide data that can yield vast insights. The devices involved can include factory sensors, retail shelf clip-on scanners, drones, robots and even baby monitors. The big data and analytics that can be gleaned from IoT devices (sometimes in real-time) can supply executives with information that they may not have been able to obtain previously. Thus, many companies are now eagerly interacting with expert consulting firms in order to tap into the benefits that this technology may provide.

Defining IoT Consulting 

Boston Consulting Group contends that the IoT market will reach $267 billion by 2020. An overview on the IoT industry by Bain contends that IoT  is not a single industry, but various markets that overlap. Bain actually calls these markets “battlegrounds.” Whether various device manufacturers and industries will cooperate with each other in order to make IoT devices interconnected or interoperable remains to be seen. Security and privacy issues are key concerns at stake with this technology.

A report by International Data Corporation (IDC) outlined some top consulting firms that are aiding clients with IoT technologies. Of the two characteristics that are highlighted in the report as being the top priorities for clients regarding their choice of consulting partner for IoT services, the concepts of ‘”ability to achieve desired business outcomes’” and  “deliverinng innovation for your solution,” are the top issues.

The big data that is available through IoT devices appears limitless, and Accenture estimates that the market that involves analyzing this information may be worth $500 billion. Comprehensiveness when gleaning the data and the importance of accurate insights are crucial to clients. Thus, the consulting industry has been launching solutions and entire corporate divisions dedicated to increasingly accurate and robust big data analytics.

Delivering IoT Consulting 

IBM has taken the reins of addressing the needs of clients who want IoT consulting by launching Watson IoT Consulting Solution in 2016. The platform contains such technology as augmented reality, blockchain and edge analytics, with 1,500 experts at their disposal. Industries as diverse as manufacturing to retail to healthcare can use such services. Harriet Green, General Manager, IBM Watson IoT, Commerce and Education, said “IBM is helping knock down the barriers to getting started with IoT, making it accessible for clients as they begin their digital transformation.”

Another consultancy, HCL Technologies, helps clients with various Internet of Things services. Professional assistance includes helping with clients’ IoT infrastructure, minimizing waste, predictive maintenance or smart workforce solutions. Other services include IoT roadmapping and benchmarking.

Smaller and boutique consulting firms, as well, are involved it IoT work, offering expertise, custom papers and blog postings regarding Internet of Things technology. Content includes topics such as how to prepare product architecture, designing business platforms for a connected industry and understanding the value of connected solutions.

IoT Consulting for the Future

Executives across industries will continue to try to understand and seek out the benefits that IoT may bring. The consulting industry is preparing and launching an array of services and products in order to meet these varied needs. The IoT ecosystem may, indeed, evolve to permeate through an innumerable array of household and business devices, creating a vast opportunity for consultancies to help manifest the business improvements desired by their clients.