Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

The Internet of Things is Here. Are You Ready?

Guest Author

By Steve Cox, Vice President, Oracle ERP and EPM Cloud Go-to-Market

For the last several years, we’ve been hearing that the Internet of Things (IoT) is coming, and it’s going to change the way we do business. But as my colleague Rudy Lukez noted recently, IoT is here and the changes have already started.

Our friends at Gartner tell us that 5.5 million new things are being connected to the internet every single day—thermostats, kitchen appliances, smoke detectors, devices that can detect when an elderly person falls, and the list goes on.

Imagine the new business services you could create with all these newly-connected devices.

Now imagine the complexity of selling all these new services, managing subscriptions for each customer, billing and invoicing them, recognizing revenue, and running reports and financial forecasts on all of these new offerings.

It’s unlikely that you can do all of this with the financial systems you have now.

The challenge facing finance teams is not trivial: take a mountain of data from connected devices and turn it into real business value. You will need to start by securely connecting devices to your systems—in order to collect data, analyze it, and quickly integrate it with enterprise applications and processes—and end up with more insight, more offerings, and better business outcomes.

Where do you start?

Surprisingly, the answer might be to begin by modernizing your ERP systems.

In our recent newsletter, “How IoT Will Significantly Disrupt ERP, and What Organizations Must Do to Prepare,” Gartner predicts that, through 2020, the impact of digital business (including IoT) will produce a moderate-to-high impact on ERP applications in 55% of enterprises.

Among the challenges that most companies face today:

  • Many CIOs do not fully grasp the scope of new IoT business solutions or how to take advantage of them
  • Most organizations spend the majority of their resources maintaining ERP systems to run the business—leaving fewer resources available to capitalize on IoT-driven opportunities
  • The failure of C-suite leaders to understand emerging trends and to shift resources and thinking will leave organizations at a competitive disadvantage

The authors write, “Organizations must react now to adopt IoT and modernize their ERP so they can become more agile to better respond to accelerating business opportunities as they arise—or risk being left in the dust.”

As always, the business goals should come first. Gartner recommends taking the time to examine the impact of digital business and IoT, and develop a business strategy.

The paper then provides some further advice for CIOs and technology leaders. “Realign ERP resources based on your strategy—investigate cloud or managed services as an option to outsource ERP processes that do not provide differentiation. Look for opportunities to IoT-enrich existing ERP-based business applications.”

Oracle offers a strategic advantage to address these recommendations. Our cloud solutions for finance connect seamlessly to, and pull data directly from, the systems that manage your IoT devices.

How? Because only Oracle offers an end-to-end solution from “edge to enterprise”—from IoT to finance to other applications—all in the cloud, running on the same database and the same platform.

Gartner forecasts that, by 2018, organizations that have successfully renovated their core ERP will achieve a 75% improvement in IT response agility and cost-to-value outcomes. That’s a pretty impressive improvement.

But if your organization wants to achieve it by 2018, you’d better start now.

Get started today by reading the rest of the Oracle newsletter.

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