Why would anyone want to change the things you currently using in the physical world of business to the Internet of Things (IoT)?Although the sectors shown below can be further enhanced through IoT, there needs to be a business reason for it and not just a technical one. Techies, the type who by default don’t create documentation, tend to solve problems bottom up. The technology is chosen first, then there is a retrofit of underlying processes to fit with that technology; finally, the business is coerced to wave the wand at the newly acquired widgets, which in this case would be IoT products. This engagement model is the reason why so many projects around technology fail to deliver on business value. Simply put, the problem that is being solved is not the one underpinning the business.
The below infographic by Intel shows where smart things are most likely to be deployed.
The Jobs MantraA smart guy named Steve Jobs once said:
As he rightfully pointed out, you need to solve what your target audience wants to use. The correct approach is to start at the business level and proceed from the top down. The process and approach may vary from the provider of an IoT product to the enterprise that uses that product as they have different underlying critical success factors.
“Starting with the customer” does not mean you double down on your app when 70% of your target audience simply do not use it …” — Steve Jobs
Service Provider RequirementsFor service providers, the critical success factors could potentially be:
- Move from delivering products sold as capital cost items with singular revenue streams to ones that are sold as an annuity stream through services.
- Reduce churn to competitive products. The legacy environment makes it difficult to track usage and usability.
- Be competitive. Within 5 years all other service providers will be exclusively selling IoT. You can’t compete if you are not in the game.
Enterprise RequirementsFor enterprise players, the critical success factors could potentially be:
- Shift things on the balance sheet from assets to inputs in the profit and loss statements.
- Improve operational productivity. Implement connected solutions with analytics that will have better availability and reliability.
- Reduce operational costs. This is achieved by leveraging the predictive and preventive modes of IoT operations that enhance any current reactive or scheduled maintenance abilities.
- Remote operations. Provide the business to gain analytic insight into operations from an alternative physical location with a smaller headcount.