The Internet of Things is a powerful tool for companies to leverage in new ways. As the world becomes more hyperconnected, companies recognize that objects can provide valuable insights on customers. In turn, these new insights can lead to completely new business models and more revenue stream possibilities.
The IoT as a Business Strategy
The Internet of Things (IoT) lets companies do far more than simply sell their traditional products or services. In some cases, companies can now do both by offering customers unique services that are connected to the products they buy. The IoT lets companies differentiate from their competitors by delivering outcomes that customers expect and value.
For leaders, the challenge is identifying the specific ways to leverage the IoT. This means incorporating IoT functionality into many different areas of a company, changing the way various business units function to interact with the data and the customers and objects supplying that data.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is the collection of smart items, whether they are equipment, commercial products, devices or machinery. These objects are smart due to the software, sensors and wireless capabilities embedded within. For objects that are a part of the IoT, the technological additions allow things to “talk” to other objects or humans. Connected objects can track, record, transmit and analyze data about performance, health information, needed maintenance or repair, usage, and location.
There are likely already many IoT objects in your home and office. In the coming years, the IoT is projected to grow to encompass billions of objects. Combined with the billions of people connected on social networks or using mobile devices, a picture begins to emerge of the power the IoT provides.
Looking at Outcomes
A Forrester Research study in 2015 indicated that companies are looking at how the IoT can improve efficiencies but are not yet leveraging the opportunity to transform business models. Why? The study indicates that the greatest issues are personnel and vision. Seventy-five percent of respondents indicated that the needed staff expertise was not available to create and develop complex IoT strategies.
Executives have yet to fully wrap their heads around the possibilities. Just 54 percent of respondents can envision IoT resulting in new services and only 31 percent foresee new products emerging from the IoT.
Technology News: Why Early Adoption Pays Off
How can companies take advantage of the Internet of Things? Let’s consider a couple of what-ifs.
A sneaker company can embed a sensor in the shoe that tracks distance, pace and stride and transmit that information to an app that records and displays weekly progress. The manufacturer can send wearer’s helpful running tips and upsell matching workout clothing.
Or consider your automobile. Already, technology alerts drivers of needed maintenance, whether an oil change, engine trouble or low tire pressure. Imagine a sensor sending data to the local dealership, which sends a text giving preferential appointment times as a means of encouraging loyalty.
Customers and consumers want outcomes – to have experiences related to how they work and live. The Internet of Things offers exceptional opportunities to companies that take advantage of this technology news.