Congratulations! You’ve either been officially designated as the Chief IoT Officer or informally delegated the responsibility of guiding your organization’s journey into the Internet of Things (IoT).

Your organization has either made an explicit determination to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunities associated with the brave, new world of IoT, or everyone around you is wondering whether the idea of a connected world is just another misguided and overhyped tech dream.

Chief IoT Officer – Welcome To Your Next Big Challenge

You’ve probably been given the responsibility of sorting the IoT out and guiding your organization’s IoT strategy because you had a track of record of success contending with previous technological disruptive forces. Maybe it was the onslaught of social networking, Cloud Computing and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon. You took control of the ‘consumerization’ of IT, and are feeling pretty good about yourself. Welcome to your next big challenge – IoT!

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has brought the potential power of wearables, connected cars, homes, appliances and other devices into the forefront of consumers’ and businesspeople’s consciousness. And, every market research firm and consulting company is predicting IoT will be a major disruptive force in nearly every industry.

The old-world ideas of a narrow set of machine-to-machine (M2M) industrial automation use cases are quickly being usurped with an infinite array of new-world dreams of connected things. By embedding commodity priced sensors into nearly everything and connecting them economically via the Cloud, we can potentially see how these things are being used better than ever before. This will enable us to improve product and service design, better understand customer buying behavior and preferences, reduce operating costs and gain a competitive advantage.

However, unlike previous technological disruptions like the PC or mobile devices, the IoT requires input and involvement from every corner of the corporate organization. In the past, individual departments could make unilateral decisions to capitalize on the Cloud to satisfy their computing needs, acquire analytics tools to decipher the latest Big Data sources, or adopt social networking tools to better engage with customers.

In the IoT world, IT isn’t just supporting various business functions, it is embedded into the organization’s products and services. Successful IoT initiatives involves everyone from the R&D department and product design team, to the service delivery and support organization.

So, as the Chief IoT Officer you need to better understand what’s real and what’s not in the rapidly evolving world of IoT. You need to better understand the true business opportunities and challenges so you can recommend the right course of action for your organization. And most importantly, you must align multiple stakeholders within the organization so they can gain the full benefits of IoT – better serving customers, better running your business, better competing in the marketing place, and better positioning your organization for the future.

Kaplan is Managing Director of THINKstrategies (www.thinkstrategies.com), an independent consulting firm focused on the business implications of the on-demand services movement. He is also the founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace (www.cloudshowplace.com), and the host of the Cloud Innovators Summit series (www.cloudsummits.com). He can be reached at jkaplan@thinkstrategies.com.