Blind men trying to figure out what an elephant is but each of them is touching a different part.

And so these men of Hindustan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong.

-The Blind Men and the Elephant, John Godfrey Saxe

‘The blind men failing to grasp the real picture of the elephant’ is such an ancient parable – even the Buddha used it. The above rendition of the parable is itself from 1872. But it is an apt metaphor to explain Technology’s new, new thing – the Internet of Things.

Just as the elephant is grasped differently by each of the monks in “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” you’ll hear a different take on the Internet of Things based on whom you ask. That’s not surprising because it is really such a wide-ranging subject.

My editorial feature in EContent Magazine distills the essence and provides you with a summary and a current snapshot of this behemoth.

Here is the link to the full article – “A Guide to the Internet of Things”. For those of you in a hurry, here are the key takeaways.

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is not entirely new: you can think of it as the internet expanding from being a network of computers to being a network of both computers and things.
  • The Internet of Things is the culmination of enterprise technology shifts already underway – mobile, analytics, and cloud (MAC) to be specific. If you are geared to handle those changes, you are off to a good start for the looming Internet of Things journey.
  • The adoption of the IoT will happen in waves, and the pace will vary from industry to industry. The impact of the IoT will be felt across marketing, operations, the supply chain, customer service, and its great enabler, IT.
  • There will be stumbles along the way (e.g., the retrenchment of Google Glass in 2015), but there will be successes as well (e.g., Nest thermostats). To position your business for IoT success, pick relevant use cases, use an iterative implementation approach, and the good news is that you can build on your existing digital enterprise skills.