Digital Signposts: Preparing for the Internet of Things

How integrators can help their clients
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How integrators can help their clients

Many industry analysts are predicting that by 2020 over 25 billion “things” will be connected via the Internet, exchanging data, fine-tuning processes, and driving decision-making. Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate about $2 trillion in global benefits touching every sector of the economy. The Internet of Things will be transformational. It is not certain what kinds of new businesses will emerge and which businesses will be critically disrupted, but what is clear is that every enterprise will be impacted. The immense flow of big data generated by the IoT has the potential to swamp organizations that are not ready for it, so it’s critical to have a plan not only to manage that data but to visualize and share the essential business-altering content that will emerge.

No matter who is working with the data—the IT department, HR, marketing, finance, or sales—the ability to present it visually in a way that communicates both the “headline” and the context behind the numbers will be critical in the IoT era. Simple line graphs and charts alone will not convey a complex and multifaceted “data story,” and it will not create a strong sense of viewer engagement. Instead corporate users must focus on design that emphasizes a dramatic, bold presentation of instantly recognizable icons and animated elements that get the viewers’ attention, generate a response and invite them to dig deeper into content.

Telling the story is only part of the equation. Just as important is getting the content in front of key audiences and allowing them to collaborate, dissect, and share information with teams. An ideal way for an enterprise to do that is to create content channels that pull IoT data automatically and drive graphical changes in real time. These channels can be distributed throughout the organization and sent to any screen, beautifully displaying trends and focusing attention on potential problems. Enterprises can also add a collaboration and feedback layer extending information value through insight, perspective and advanced analysis.

Integrators must be prepared to help clients who require IoT solutions that allow them to glean and share content quickly and effectively.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a Barco company. X2O Media is a leading software developer of real-time visual communications solutions that significantly improve communications throughout the enterprise. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at


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