“THE KEY TO THE PROMISES OF IOT IS NOT IN THE TECHNOLOGY, BUT IN THE VALUE YOU GET FROM IT.”
In the last few years, we have seen a massive increase in the commercial interest of the Internet of Things (IoT). With the cost of sensors and network gear coming way down and the proliferation of WiFi, the stage is set for a massive explosion in IoT growth and commercial adoption. Many companies are jumping on the IoT bandwagon with various point solutions and capabilities and this shows no sign of slowing down. At Advanced Technology Group (ATG) we specialize in making the complex simple through expert application of best practices, focused solution development and providing the highest caliber solutions consultants across the entire business life cycle.
The companies that will rise to the top of IoT the pile are the ones that realize the key to selling IoT services is value, value, value. Now more then ever, communicating value is the critical component to firms hoping to deliver on the promises of IoT. It is one thing to gather the data, it is all together something different to show clients how to properly use that data in a way that delivers real value for their business.
Network providers like Cisco are developing new technologies (Fog Layer) that will push the processing of IoT data to the network edge thus massively reducing the amount of backhaul bandwidth required to support IoT. This will mean the development and distribution of intelligent edge applications that can properly gather, sort, correlate and forward only the data that meets a particular threshold.
WHAT CAN THE IOT DO FOR YOU?
The buzz today is all about what IoT can do for you, your company, your industry, etc. Gartner estimates tell us that the IoT industry will generate incremental value of 300 billion by 2020 for IoT products and services suppliers. IDC estimates the worldwide market for IoT solutions will grow from 1.9 trillion in 2013 to 7.1 trillion by 2020. The market in its current state is wide open for the companies who want to dive in and get a piece of it.
Of course, the key to the promises of IoT is not in the technology, but in the value you get from it. For companies to be successful there needs to be massive transition in the sales approach from the benefits of the widget to the business value of the solution. This is especially true for companies selling solutions that cover the entire IoT ecosystem. The solution needs to build and deliver value at every step along the way through the entire IoT lifecycle.
EMBRACING THE BUSINESS VALUE
The revolutionary aspect of IoT is the value it can bring to both technology and non-technology companies. The biggest challenge is in educating the customer on the true business value which can be derived from embracing IoT. Teaching customers this business value requires IoT solution firms to clearly understand the entire ecosystem and be able to back it up and show value at every step of the process.
Product development companies need to understand how their product fits into the ecosystem and this requires a different development approach. No longer will we develop products simply because its cool or it fits a specific vertical. The traditional silo approach many companies currently operate under will be finally obsolete. Integration is also critical in the IoT ecosystem, meaning, customers will purchase various parts of the solution from different providers and the most open and integration friendly providers will realize the biggest market penetration.
Consulting firms entering the IoT space will be required to have deep industry knowledge and be able to not only educate their customers but take them on the journey through the process. A defined charter based on the end business value is the key differentiator. The ability to take a traditional brick and mortar business down the IoT journey will require a deep understanding of their business and being able to quickly assess the potential value for clients early on will be critical.
For consulting firms in the IoT space, it is not enough to simply advise on aspects of the IoT ecosystem. To deliver value, the requirement will be to take customers through the entire life cycle. ATG has a long history of helping clients deliver value through the complex delivery ecosystems.
If there was ever a time when the ‘prove and move’ approach was required, this is it. The amount of data that can be collected is mind blowing, being able to process that data and drive something useful out of it are the keys to the kingdom. Delivering value for customers along the way will be the only method to keeping them interested and involved in the process.
There is a large educational chasm that has to be crossed with customers. Simply telling customers you can gather all of this great data is useless unless they know how that data can transform their business. There is not an industry out there today that will not be affected in some way by the growth and adoption of IoT.
The companies that will ultimately be the most successful will be disciplined to not get lost in the weeds and will stay focused on the true business value. The most confident companies with the most mature and successful IoT ecosystem will also price their services based on delivered value. There is no doubt of the revenue potential that IoT offers, however, the most exciting aspect is the business transformation it will foster and create along the way.