​Jeff Kagan: Is Chief IoT Officer Next?

Jeff Kagan |

A Chief IoT Officer may be next executive placement for every company going forward. The Internet of Things or IoT is growing and spreading so rapidly it is difficult for companies to stay ahead of the demand curve. At this pace, going forward most every company will have a Chief IoT officer. The problem is that today, there are very few top level candidates.

This is a position most companies and executives will have to grow into. This is a great opportunity for those in senior management. This is also an important area for investors to use in judging companies and investments. It starts with a few companies that are fully engaged in the Internet, but then eventually spreads to nearly every company in every field. Things are rapidly changing thanks to the Internet, IoT, wireless, wire line and all sorts of new technologies that are rewriting the competitive playing field. New ideas pop up and quickly change existing industries.

Chief IoT Officer

In this volatile, rapidly growing and fast-changing space, the need for a Chief IoT officer only grows. Some companies need this position filled today. However, in coming years, I believe a senior level IoT officer will be a part of every growing company.

The level this senior IoT officer holds will depend on the company, the sector they do business in, the competition, the importance of the Internet in that business and the sophistication of the CEO and the Board of Directors. We are entering a transition period, and there will be many ways to skin this cat. As always, some will be better than others.

Are CEO and Board of Directors Tuned-In?

However, longer-term I do believe that a senior levelIoT officer will play a crucial role in company growth in every industry. Remember, even if an industry is not heavily Internet focused today, all it takes is one competitor to break the rules and change the way business is done. At that point, they start winning business quickly, causing every competitor to jump to attention and jump in.

This has already happened in other industries. Consider the smartphone industry as an example of this quick change. Remember when Motorola (MSI) led the handset space in the 1990’s? Or when Blackberry (BBRY) and Nokia led for the next decade? Or when Apple (AAPL) iPhone and Google (GOOG) Android took the leadership position eight years ago?

Threat, Challenge and Opportunity

The transformation in industry leadership happens on a regular basis, and it happens quickly. The only question is: When is the next shift going to occur? I see the writing on the wall, and I say that shift has already begun. That’s the threat. That’s the challenge. That’s the opportunity. And everything can and will change in the blink of an eye.

Plus, there are lots of different areas in todays marketplace with this type of industry transforming potential. The Chief IoT position is just one of them, but this is a key are to focus on whether you are in company management, a worker, partner or investor.

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

So the next question is simple. Since the Internet and IoT are only going to play a more important role as time goes by, how quickly will companies prepare for this new playing field? Who will lead as things change in industry after industry? Will it be current leaders or will the leadership change hands to newcomers who refine the space going forward?

Companies that realize how their industry is positioned for a dramatic shift may be the first to jump in with a Chief IoT officer. These may be the companies who are positioning themselves for leadership positions in the coming IoT revolution. Transformation only takes one company with great ideas. It also takes guts. Because while they lay the path going forward, leaders also take the arrows.

Leaders Take the Arrows

That said, as you know, many companies will jump into this space in order to appear ready to lead. Appearance can be as important as reality. However, it is important to peel the onion back and make sure the changes at the company you are evaluating are real.

With all that said, this is no time to be blinded by all the amazing light of transformation that is occurring all over the marketplace. Now is the time to prepare and to choose well. This is a good way to see the companies who have a good understanding and interest in leading using the Internet. Now is the time to focus on the IoT. Now is the time to not only be perceived as a leader in the IoT space, but to actually be that leader.

Equities.com columnist Jeff Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst and consultant. He shares thoughts on the changing industry, which he's been following for 25 years. He follows what's hot, what's not, why and what's coming next. Email him atjeff@jeffKAGAN.com.


DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
AAPL Apple Inc. 109.90 0.41 0.37 26,527,997
MSI.DB:CA Morneau Shepell Inc. 5.75% Convertible Unsecured S n/a n/a n/a 0
GOOG Alphabet Inc. 750.50 2.58 0.34 1,452,484
BBRY BlackBerry Limited 7.59 0.07 0.93 4,588,578

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