Norman Smagley, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Gogo Inc., examined the Internet of Things (IoT) in his keynote presentation to Argyle's CFO membership at the 2016 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum: Fall Event in Chicago on Nov. 17. In his presentation, "How the Internet of Things Will Evolve in the Air and Help Transform the Flying Experience," Smagley explored the IoT and its impact on businesses around the world.
According to Smagley, four key trends are driving the IoT's growth:
1. Demand for Connectivity from Any Location, at Any Time
Today's consumers demand connectivity from any location, at any time, and organizations are tasked with finding ways to ensure consumers remain connected to the world around them consistently.
In the aviation industry, organizations are searching for ways to provide travelers with an unforgettable airline travel experience, one that matches the experience they can enjoy when they travel on the ground.
Smagley pointed out Gogo recognizes the importance of connectivity, and as such, frequently searches for ways to improve connectivity up in the air. Gogo is committed to finding unique ways to connect travelers with the world around them and continues to explore ways to ensure its consumers can enjoy a "connected" experience any time they travel.
"With the explosion of demand for connectivity, everywhere you go, people are on their connected phones," Smagley said. "Demand to be connected and online is constant. The capacity required to do it has also been constant."
2. The Evolution of Technology and Increasing Technology Adoption Rates
Smartphones, tablets and other mobile technologies have transformed the way organizations and consumers connect with one another. Meanwhile, new technologies are becoming available that may make it easier for consumers to remain connected to the world around them at all times.
"With the explosion of demand for connectivity, everywhere you go, people are on their connected phones."
Smagley noted new sensors and equipment are being installed in aircraft that drive airborne connectivity. The IoT ensures Gogo can revamp the way consumers view the way they travel – something that may help the company differentiate itself in a highly competitive global marketplace.
Ultimately, a business that takes a proactive approach to technology may be better equipped to identify growth opportunities than its rivals. This company could utilize technology to improve its everyday processes and operations as well as enhance its customer interactions.
As a result, a company that emphasizes a technology-driven approach to its day-to-day activities may be able to maximize the value of its IoT investments.
3. Closure of the Big Data Gap
Although businesses can access a wealth of data from across the web, organizing this information and obtaining meaningful insights from it often remains challenging.
"[Big data] involves taking a whole bunch of data, crunching it through analytics and hopefully getting to information that is actionable to help you improve your operations and your bottom line," Smagley stated.
The IoT may change the way businesses assess data, as new technologies can help companies automate data analysis.
"Organizations will become much more data-driven, and IT will play a role in facilitating new processes and collaboration between groups to really get the value out of data and analytics."
Thus, the IoT could deliver significant value, ensuring businesses can review a broad array of data and use it to improve their processes, operations and customer interactions.
4. A Global Culture of Innovation
A culture of innovation is needed to drive change throughout an organization. And with a top-down approach, an organization's leaders may be able to instill a culture of innovation that employees and managers within all departments will embrace.
"Culture has to change. Managers and leadership at the top have to drive that change," Smagley said.
Furthermore, how an organization approaches data may impact its immediate and long-term results.
If a company devotes the necessary time and resources to collect and mine data, it may be able to understand customer behaviors and trends, find out how customers feel about a brand, its products and its services and more. Plus, this business may be able to identify growth opportunities and find ways to utilize state-of-the-art technologies to improve its operations and lower its operating costs for years to come.
On the other hand, a business that fails to prioritize data may struggle to gain ground on the competition. This company may fall behind its rivals and lack the insights needed to make informed decisions to drive its operations forward.
Smagley pointed out today's businesses must embrace the IoT to facilitate growth. The IoT offers companies the opportunity to maximize the value of data consistently and could prove to be a difference-maker businesses that want to stand out in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.
"Organizations will become much more data-driven, and IT will play a role in facilitating new processes and collaboration between groups to really get the value out of data and analytics," he noted.
Norman Smagley is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, serving as CFO since September 2010.
Norman brings 18 years of experience as a CFO for both public and private companies across various industries, including technology, financial services, pharmaceutical, retail, industrial, and publishing. Most recently, Norman served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Rand McNally, a publisher of maps, atlases, and other reference materials.
Norman received both his B.A. in Economics and Master's Degree in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.