As the Internet and the data it generates become all pervasive in today’s world, industries are being redefined. In order to stay relevant, it is no longer enough for businesses to continue traditional technology practices. Corporates need to have a sound idea of how their clients are currently using and interacting with technology and how they want technology to perform and interact in their daily lives.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the way of the future. To leverage the opportunities IoT presents, businesses will need to find innovative ways to utilise and link existing technology, while also predicting the ways in which people will use technology in the future. To this end, it is essential to the survival of corporates in all industries to arm themselves with a solid IoT strategy.
We’re already starting to see the impact of IoT in certain industries. For example, so called ‘smart cities’ now use IoT to create lighting and parking solutions; many industries use the Internet of Things for predictive maintenance, and even Agriculture has moved into ‘smart farming’.
The possibilities for IoT application are endless, and by default, so are the implications for businesses. Trillions of dollars of economic value will be created. Quite simply, you can’t risk not being part of it. IoT represents new ways to generate revenue, improve efficiency and develop new business. Boards are beginning to recognise this and are starting to ask how IoT can be used within their industry.
The time to get your corporate IoT strategy right is now. But how do you do this?
Customer experience: As industry borders disappear and the competitive landscape become unpredictable, the only thing that is left is your customers, so a customer-centric approach is critical. You will need to understand and predict what is likely to aggravate, help, annoy, soothe and assist your customers, and then extrapolate from that to find the IoT opportunity.
Analytics: IoT allows customer engagement on an entirely different level as sensors can now ‘follow’ your customers wherever they go. Combine this with data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and we can predict with much higher accuracy what they are looking for, where they will be going next and what they will do when they get there.
Interoperability and Seamless Experience: As you’ll be touching your customers in different points you need to make sure all your systems and sensors are speaking the same language. Multiple databases and applications will need to be connected and in constant communication so that your customer experience is flawless.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Identify what your company needs to implement your corporate IoT strategy. What technology do you have? What processes, systems and technology do you need? How will you fill the gaps?
Collaboration: The Internet of Things brings with it infinite possibilities, so it is fair to say that not every industry or business is going to have the ability to perform all facets and implement all phases of IoT. Creating partnerships, collaborating and outsourcing will become a necessary part of the IoT strategy.
IoT will continue to evolve over the next decade and will have a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. There will be virtually no area of your personal or business life that IoT will not touch in some way. As technology becomes more and more commonplace, it becomes more cost effective, ROI becomes stronger and new business models evolve. You need to develop an IoT strategy now so you can start integrating it into your business and not only take advantage of IoT potential, but orchestrate and create the possibilities.
Eitan Bienstock is an entrepreneur, an active voice in the innovation ecosystem and the founder & CEO of Everything IoT .