Today, businesses around the world in every industry are demonstrating that the Internet of Things (IoT) is more than just hype. IoT is having a meaningful impact on a global scale across markets as diverse as agriculture, healthcare, robotics, transportation, utilities and many more. Innovative enterprises in each of these categories are leading the IoT charge by putting connectivity at the heart of their business strategies.
With IoT, we’re looking at a future where businesses are being enhanced by connectivity. More than that, with IoT we are completely rethinking how business is done and how we interact with the world around us. The companies that are taking steps to leverage connectivity to introduce innovative business models and deliver new value to customers will be the winners in the IoT revolution.
If you’re looking to capture your share of the IoT opportunity, you need to start with a solid foundation. Here are five fundamentals for IoT success:
1. Shift to service
Every day I work with companies looking to launch, manage and monetize IoT businesses. When they ask me what the secret to success is, I tell them all the same thing: the first step is realizing that the Internet of Things is not about “things”, it’s about service. As connectivity is embedded into devices, business value shifts from products themselves to the services you can deliver via those connected devices.
In this new connected world, customers will come to expect companies to deliver new benefits and services throughout the life of their products. The good news is that those services will become new sources of revenue for you too. Soon, every business will be an IoT business; it’s inevitable. Those that prioritize the development and delivery of value-added connected services will have the advantage.
2. Use the cloud
Real-time. All-the-time. Those are fundamental concepts within IoT. Businesses need visibility and real-time control to manage connected services and ensure the best possible experience for their customers. Software-as-a-Service models, delivered via the cloud, are ideal for IoT businesses.
Companies are finding that cloud-based solutions do more than deliver critical advantages such as speed, efficiency and global access. With the on-demand innovation of a cloud-based platform, you can minimize start-up costs to enable scalability and support business agility. As new functionality is made possible through the cloud, industries are embracing innovative business practices that improve operational efficiency, lower costs, and make them more responsive to customer needs.
3. Plan to scale
Whether you are a multinational corporation or a small regional player in your industry, if you want to thrive, you will need to scale your business. And when you are ready to move into new markets, you don’t want anything to slow you down. As you build your IoT business, take time to think long term and anticipate success. Choose solutions and alliances capable of seamlessly and cost-effectively supporting your future needs so that you can easily scale your IoT services globally as customer demand dictates.
4. Automate, automate, automate
IoT is proliferating at breakneck speed. The number of connected devices is quickly soaring into the tens of billions. Even if your company deploys a modest number of devices, say 100,000, for each one you’ll be responsible for mobile service management, real-time engagement, support diagnostics, billing, provisioning and more.
In my experience, to fully optimize performance and cost, an average device requires 100+ real-time actions per year. On that 100,000-unit deployment, that means 10 million actions every year. At that scale, manual processes are inefficient, costly and simply impractical.
Automate every process possible to reduce response times and streamline operations, make your business more agile and responsive, while you focus on more valuable parts of your operation.
5. Learn from industry best practices
It’s important to learn from best practices, even if the tips and inspiration come from different industries. In agriculture for example, companies like Semios are capitalizing on IoT to increase crop yields, preserve precious resources and improve sustainability and profitability.
In healthcare, companies like Motech are using IoT to provide telecare that gives active seniors independence. The number of innovative ways companies are using IoT to transform their business and enable a host of new value-added services is amazing!
It’s useful to have a look at a variety of business cases as you develop your own IoT strategy. Each one will shed new light on the scope and scale of the IoT opportunity. For more ideas and insights from leaders at the forefront of IoT revolution, take a look at www.TitansofIoT.com.
Have you already embarked upon your own business transformation with IoT services? If so, what lessons have you learned? What do you wish you would have know before you got started? Help out the community by sharing your lessons and tips in the comments below.
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