Internet of Things is Not about Refrigerators [VIDEO]

Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby explains what the Internet of Things is really all about.

 By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Apr 21, 2014
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One of the most hyped examples of the Internet of Things is the Internet-connected refrigerator. But according to Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco CIO, the refrigerator will not likely be an Internet of Things use case that she deploys within Cisco itself.

In a video interview with Enterprise Networking Planet, Jacoby explained what the Internet of Things is really about.

"People love to use the example of the Internet-enabled refrigerator because it's something that an individual consumer can relate to," Jacoby said.

In Jacoby's view, the refrigerator example is a good one, as it makes people really consider the question of what adds value to a piece of technology and where Internet connectivity makes sense. But the IoT isn't just about connected refrigerators--not by a long shot.

"You have to start with the value question for the customer and the value question for your enterprise in order

Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco CIO

to decide where you will apply this [Internet of Things]. I'm not sure that the refrigerator in the boardroom would make the value list for me," Jacoby said.

Jacoby said that her team has an idea pipeline of over 80 ideas for Internet of Things enablement that are currently being vetted.

"Automating everything isn't necessarily the right answer," Jacoby said.

Jacoby added that including real human experience is a key part of the equation to determine where automation can make sense.

"Is it easier to just throw away the stuff that you think smells in the refrigerator or do you have an automated app that tells you what smells in your refrigerator?" Jacoby said.

The key question in Jacoby's view is how to decide when it makes sense to apply technology, given the simple fact that for most organizations, there are only so many resources that are available.

"You have to decide what adds value to you," Jacoby said. "There are lots of opportunities that will add real value."

Watch the full video interview with Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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