In this excerpt from the New Product Innovation & Development Executive MindXchange Chronicles, panelists from a variety of industries discuss the state of IoT today, providing current business examples and separating the hype from real-world applications.

Jeffrey Worsham, Sector Lead, Innovation, Northrop Grumman Corporation

April Bertram, Business Development Director, Smartlink Solutions, GOJO Industries
Alex Goryachev, Senior Director, Innovation Strategy and Programs, Cisco
Kyle Joseph, Senior Innovation Strategist and IoT Catalyst, Bosch North America
Ash Kulkarni, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Web Performance and Security, Akamai Technologies
Bruce Wiatrak, Senior Director – IoT Newell Brands – First Alert

In the infant Internet of Things domain, companies are clamoring for differentiation in a rapidly morphing market space. Do you and your organization know the risks and opportunities? In this session, a panel of industry experts discussed what is working, and what isn’t, and how to capitalize on this $267B market.


  • Lessons learned? The (past) pitfalls and IoT security
  • Examples of successful differentiation of IoT offerings
  • Technology blueprints for compatibility, interoperability and interface centralization


Opening Thoughts about IoT…

  • It’s essential to know where customers are, what the emphasis is
  • Some have begun to test IoT models within their organizations
  • How do we connect workspace, devices, digital assets?
  • How do we deploy IoT projects in-house?
  • How do we get people passionate about IoT?
  • IoT is more about connecting, making it intelligent, putting sensors on, feeding your brain – that’s what IoT is
  • But, how is IoT is going to affect your business, even on the industrial side?


  • It comes down to making sure you’re solving problems
  • There is a cost and value to all these things (phones – can track us, but they also provide a lot of access)
  • Ask: What is the solution it’s providing?

Questions and Answers

Question: How are we making sure devices are secure?

  • How do you protect the device from becoming vulnerable? Botnets were launching attacks on websites. People and companies are now realizing what it takes to make it safe
  • In the future, you’ll be able to authenticate communication between the device and the “mother ship”
  • Hard to control, multiple layers to look at. Look at different layers of security. Do security protocols within layers when developing Iot
  • We have to educate ourselves about security

IoT – How does it apply to legacy industries like manufacturing and agriculture?

  • When you connect it, you know the life cycle of the product. From when it leaves the floor to the end of its life – then you can feed it back into your business
  • It’s about making these businesses more efficient, predicting things, correcting problems. Now your business is a living organism. On the industrial side, it’s about ROI

 What are some of the key success metrics for IoT?

  • IoT is a thing that harnesses communication and can assess performance. We need reasons for data, so we can see what we can discover

How do you use ecosystems to differentiate IoT?

  • Open ecosystems have different benefits. They can streamline costs. They can utilize existing systems to bring down cost with the add-ons. By partnering, you can better solve customer problems
  • For example, a “smart” restroom – we’re only one part of the equation, paper towels but with one goal of keeping bathroom clean. It’s a better business model by opening yourself to partnerships
  • Network business, enable start-ups to build on top of existing systems
  • It’s about re-imagining existing systems by connecting them 

Can you share your thoughts about data transmission and data ownership?

  • It’s an obstacle in our ecosystem, but it’s actually the customer who owns the data. Connect end user to the whole data stream
  • We try to say the brain belongs to you. We improve the brain to collect data
  • This is not a new problem. Standards have evolved, not law, but standards that people adhere to
  • A bigger issue might be data sovereignty. Data created in one country should not leave that country

How to get beyond the hype of IoT?

  • Standards need to be put in place. Costs have to come down. We need evidence that IoT is solving problems
  • As consumers adopt IoT, they’ll bring it to their workplace