3 min

Connectivity Drives Data and Insights That Build Enterprise Intelligence

Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things help organizations increase efficiency while reducing costs.

Enterprise intelligence can be a crucial element of digital transformation. It refers to bridging the gap between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) to apply advanced capabilities to data from Internet of Things (IoT) assets. When paired with artificial intelligence (AI), these connections generate valuable insights that help organizations improve their operations.

AI can boost the Internet of Things, making it possible to leverage data from assets and environments that never have been connected before, a practice sometimes referred to as AIoT. For example, Cisco has made advances in connectivity and Power over Ethernet that allow for digital telemetry on building occupancy. This enables capabilities such as occupancy-based energy consumption, with sensors detecting when people are in a space so that lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems turn on only when needed.

Connecting these systems allows organizations to gain operational insights that support optimization efforts.

Diverse Industries Look to AIoT to Develop Data-Driven Insights

According to IoT Analytics, AI drives numerous industrial use cases, including predictive maintenance, quality assurance and supply chain optimization. In manufacturing, OT systems are the backbone of industrial facilities. IoT enables real-time oversight of systems and production lines to monitor maintenance, protect quality and enhance speed.

Smart cities and retail environments are also excellent examples of connected ecosystems. In retail, IoT enables digital inventory management so that retailers can meet demand while reducing waste. Cameras connected to point-of-sale devices can improve checkout processes to minimize shrinkage. Video analytics can monitor dwell times to determine if stores need additional customer support.

In agriculture, sensors help farmers conserve water by detecting moisture levels in soil and adjusting irrigation as needed. In the utility sector, connected pipelines identify leaks faster. Autonomous vehicles use IoT systems to sense the environment and use machine learning to ensure that vehicles avoid obstacles such as potholes.

The power of IoT technology is almost unlimited. Organizations continue to apply their creativity and ingenuity to find ways to use connectivity, data and automation to analyze and transform operations.

Better, Faster Information Creates New Opportunities to Optimize

IoT delivers powerful outcomes, particularly when we think about data-informed insights that enable organizations to fine-tune processes in real time or nearly real time. As AI makes complex decisions and automates manual tasks, organizations can achieve greater efficiency and productivity. AI is transforming customer service as chatbots, powered by advanced speech recognition, continue to grow more sophisticated. AI also supports faster time to market by reducing complexity and facilitating continuous experimentation.

Cost reduction promises to be a huge benefit as AI optimizes processes to reduce marginal transaction costs. For example, right-sizing inventory and staffing means that retailers can deploy resources only when and where they are needed. This allows for better customer service and less waste.

Together, these advances can help organizations drive higher profitability and deliver a better customer experience.

Developing Enterprise Intelligence Is an Ongoing Process

Developing enterprise intelligence capabilities is similar to developing capabilities around other advanced technologies: It’s a journey, not a destination.

Organizations can start working toward enterprise intelligence by first modernizing their networks and data. The next phase is to integrate various data sets, such as IoT sensor data, video, audio and images. Organizations will also need to assess workloads to determine the right computing platforms, which may be located at the edge, core or cloud.

IoT technology is the heart of enterprise intelligence: leveraging enormous amounts of data generated by IoT devices and using the intelligent analyzing power of AI to automate business operations without human interference. From machine learning to video analytics, audio analytics and natural language processing, AIoT is the future of connectivity.

Story by Jill Klein, the Head of Emerging Technology and the Internet of Things for CDW.  Jill also serves as chair of the CompTIA IoT Advisory Council and is actively involved in industry research projects targeted at accelerating the adoption of IoT.


Cisco’s flexible collaboration tools and Webex® portfolio let your team work the way they like best. CDW’s Cisco Flex®-based services let you create fully managed collaboration environments whether at a desk or on a mobile device.

Jill Klein

CDW Expert
Jill Klein is the head of emerging technology and the Internet of Things for CDW.  Jill also serves as chair of the CompTIA IoT Advisory Council and is actively involved in industry research projects targeted at accelerating the adoption of IoT.