April 21, 2016 | Written by: Chris O'Connor
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As connected devices and data from them becomes the norm, enterprises are moving beyond selling connected, intelligent products and beyond selling new services – focusing on delivering compelling experiences over the life of a product. The Internet of Things is at the threshold of a tremendous opportunity. Connecting things with unique IP addresses has been possible for over a decade, but the commoditization of sensors, processors and memory now make it viable to make everyday things move beyond being just connected, but actually making them intelligent.
Expectations are high, especially for new business models. Sixty-nine percent of respondents in a recent poll said that the IoT will help improve their line of business through new business models and revenue streams. While it’s clear to most that the IoT does provide a transformative opportunity, what’s often less clear is how to start transforming. With that in mind, I’d like to share a few ideas on how the IoT can be leveraged to create more competitive business models.
Make things work for you
As things become capable of learning and adapting to their users, they can begin to act like “agents” on behalf of the user. Cognitive intelligence in devices can help enhance experiences by discovering new insights and creating stronger relationships with users. At the scale of transformation the IoT requires, many machine-to-machine interactions will need to become invisible and machine-to-human interactions will need to become more simple and intuitive. The key to achieving this simplicity and intuition will be the evolution cognitive systems.
Integrate your things into your business
The IoT is reshaping industries. Industry boundaries are expanding and requirements to support multiple ecosystems are increasing. Collectively, these forces are driving the need for platforms that can manage this complexity by orchestrating devices and services seamlessly. Open platforms that can support virtually any device in any ecosystem from any industry have the opportunity to transform current business models to enable companies to participate in other industries’ markets, attract new customer segments and create new revenue opportunities
Embrace your new IoT identity
As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, companies are reinventing their identities. Even the most recognizable brands are reinventing themselves: Ford is no longer just about making vehicles; but is focusing on innovative solutions for global mobility. Some apparel companies are taking on the challenge of the next generation of wearables rather than waiting for technology companies to invent them. When it comes to implementing IoT strategy, organizational challenges are even more pressing than technology challenges. Aligning the organization with the company’s IoT strategy will change the way companies lead, learn and prepare their workforces as the IoT permeates organizations. Maybe most important of all, it will change they way you can interact with your clients.
I believe these 3 elements will allow most organizations to more easily harness the IoT opportunity – and what a huge one it is! With thousands of client implementations in IoT, we also have expertise that can make the IoT even easier and more fruitful for you. If you’d like to chat further on this, connect with me @ChrisROConnor or check out ibm.com/iot.