Published: June 14th, 2017

To survive in the modern business climate created by increasingly sophisticated technology, companies need to embark on a digital transformation journey. But technology isn’t just disrupting the business environment; it can also be used to keep up with changes.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one innovation that can accelerate digital transformation, according to experts at Ingram Micro’s IoT Evolve event in Toronto on June 14.

“IoT will fuel digital transformation because it enables productivity, reduces costs, and enables faster customer response,” Rick Huijbregts, VP of digital transformation and innovation at Cisco Canada, tells the audience. “Connectivity allows businesses to still do what they’re doing, but just faster and smarter. It allows them to dream big.”

David Mason, VP of advanced solutions at Ingram Micro, defines IoT as “the optimization of the world’s largest machine, the Internet.”

“It merges the physical world with the digital world; it touches everything from health to homes to agriculture and farming, and the possibilities are endless. It’s projected that there will be 50 billion connected devices in the world by 2020, and we want to help customers leverage this ecosystem,” he says.

But being successful with IoT requires more than just the initial decision to implement it, Huijbregts points out.

“There are several building blocks of a successful IoT strategy that includes properly educating yourself on what it is exactly, how it works and how it can help your business, and then creating the right vision or target goal, finding the right partners to do it with, because no one can do it alone, and choosing the right technology to move forward with your business needs,” he explains.

Huijbregts stresses the importance of partnerships, adding that “if we collectively push forward, we can create meaningful outcomes with digital technology to create opportunities, both job-wise and commercially, for our children, and we need to start now as a business – and as a country – or we will fall behind.”

For IoT to be successful in general, however, a digital economy and infrastructure needs to be created to serve “as the foundation on top of which we can reimagine any business.”

“IoT and other advanced tech are triggering mass disruption, in every industry, and we need to create a digital economy that can handle this for future economic growth, sustainable businesses and smarter lives,” he adds.

A truly digital infrastructure, as well as digital transformation in general, isn’t something that can be done sporadically or on a whim, however. Like any other journey, it needs to be carefully planned ahead of time through education, setting target goals, and collaborating with the right partners.

“Digital transformation only works if we consider what we are trying to solve for,” Huijbregts, concludes. “But when this conversation centres around technology, most digital journeys fail because we’re not accurately thinking about the end goal, what we can get out of the technology, and how we can apply that to our business.”