Institute for Business Value

Combining artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things could make your business smarter

C-suite executives are making an important discovery: the Internet of Things (IoT) coupled with advanced analytics capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI) can lead to next-level solutions and experiences. To realize greater value from the network, and to radically transform their business and operating models, industry leaders are integrating AI with incoming data from a vast array of IoT devices.  Forward-thinking leaders are building out scalable digital platforms that help uncover new insights about customer behaviors, perform predictive maintenance on key components and enhance yields in manufacturing, agriculture and logistics networks.

An upcoming report from the IBM Global C-suite Study Program shows that C-suite executives recognize a strong need to reinvent their enterprises by digitizing communications and interactions. This is part of a shift in focus from product and service innovation toward building superior customer experiences. IoT technologies can help companies make this change. Most C-suite executives surveyed say they are deploying IoT solutions at some level: 66 percent are in various stages of piloting, implementing or using IoT capabilities.

A group of high-performers (the Reinventors) is looking to further extend the potential of IoT within its business operations. This group makes up 19 percent of the more than 3,000 C-suite executives the IBM Institute for Business Value interviewed. They are keenly focused on reaping more benefits by augmenting IoT with AI.

Reinventors plan to extend the power of IoT by merging it with AI

Reinventors excel at using customer data and analyzing competitors to innovate their products and services. They scrutinize any available data to understand customer needs, and anticipate what customers want. Reinventors also analyze their competitors’ responses to customer demands. And they are using these insights relentlessly to evaluate, reengineer and fine-tune their customer responses. In doing so, Reinventors are moving from capturing IoT sensor data to leveraging it for competitive advantage.

Reinventors also understand that with the addition of AI, the full potential of IoT can be leveraged for business model reinvention. With AI, they expect to introduce new products, discover new opportunities, reduce risk and increase revenue.

6.5 times more Reinventors agree that combining AI with IoT can realize IoT's full potential

With increasing connections and data proliferation, enterprises must address three great opportunities: enabling deeper customer relationships, finding new sources of value through data and accelerating the digital transformation of their operations. Top achievers are amplifying their performance. They are capturing all forms of data from a variety of interconnected devices and using AI-based applications to plumb that data to reach new levels of operational and financial proficiency.

For the full story, download the executive report, which will be available later this month at

This blog is part of a monthly series that highlights emerging trends from our 19th Global C-suite Study. The study features interviews with more than 10,000 CxOs.

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