Keeping customers close and having strong partners in the IoT ecosystem defines the road to success
Wondering, what’s common in Tango and Internet of Things (IoT)? Well, nothing much except for the fact that
- It takes two individuals to partner for Tango dancing. And, given the huge opportunity size, scale and elements of IoT, this indeed is not a game for solo players, even if they are big industry giants.
- That the tango consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and eras of Argentina as well as in other locations around the world, and, IoT is bringing different verticals and varied players from across the globe, together.
So, Yes, IoT is definitely keeping a lot of people on its toes. It amazes me to observe the speed at which predictions on the numbers of connected devices in billions to foreseeable future revenue in trillion of dollars keeps changing every now and then, no matter which analyst you follow. And it is always on the upside, at least for the next five years.
Realizing the potential of IoT to make everything ‘smart’, huge investments are being announced by various governments’ worldwide, large enterprises and startup companies are foraying into this space like it’s the next gold rush. Take for example the smart cities market which encompasses services such as smart health, smart transport, smart energy, smart education and smart water. It is estimated to reach US$1,134.84 billion by 2019 (Markets&Markets), growing at a CAGR of 22.5 percent. Healthcare is rapidly shifting from illness to wellness and this customer-centric business models will be generating a US$22.54 billion opportunity by 2022(Grand View Research). Agriculture is moving from seed to feed – a US$18.54 billion opportunity by 2022(Markets and Markets), Smart energy is a US$20.9 billion opportunity by 2024(Navigant Research), Water utilization a US$18.31 billion opportunity by 2020(Markets and Markets.) and Manufacturing making a paradigm shift from shop floor to top floor will be a US$67 billion opportunity by 2020 (Markets and Markets).
National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) in India assessed that in the next five years, the global opportunity for IoT will reach US$300 billion, of which India’s contribution can rise upto US$15 billion. NASSCOM along with the Department of Electronics & Information Technology as well as ERNET India—has set up the Centre of Excellence for IoT to promote a vibrant IoT ecosystem that will help India attain a leadership position in this field. Similar programs are getting launched worldwide, like the UK government’s national program ‘IoTUK’ to bolster the country’s IoT capability. The Government of India allocated INR70.6 billion (US$1.2 billion) for Smart Cities.
Therefore, given the opportunity size, if one thing can be said for sure, then it is that the IoT technology is at its Summit! However, it is important to bear in mind that what differentiates a ‘Technology’ from ‘tech-no-logy’ i.e. ‘Technology with No Logic’ is the fact that how relevant, affordable, reliable it is and how fast it reaches to the masses- people like you and me? It may not be a game changer, but it has to have the power to empower, and, to change our life in meaningful ways.
Clearly, we as customers need to see how a technology like IoT will solve our problems in business, of environmental degradation and help creating sustainable and inclusive growth and development. Whatever IoT does with a billion connected devices with tera, zeta or peta bytes of data exchanges per second, is not the matter of interest. It matters when this data is turned into new business services for us.
There are multiple players in the IoT ecosystem at various stages of maturity. Each day a new protocol evolves and Standards in IoT are still at their nascent stage of development, mostly proprietary. This makes interoperability a big issue. Lack of a coherent business or technical model make things even worse for companies and they wonder how to extend the useful life of large-scale investments in IoT.
IoT demands a mature ecosystem and it will be really interesting to see how various players from device and sensor manufacturers, connectivity players, data scientist, researchers, technologists and domain specialist, security and data privacy experts, hardware and software providers for device to network to data and application management, application developers to legal and governance experts, regulatory and standards bodies, academia, industrialist and other government agencies, come together. The companies who will succeed will definitely adopt collaboration to convergence in their growth strategy. The key to gaining maximum revenue share in the IoT pie and moving smartly up the value chain is by being open the possibilities of collaboration with big and small players. Some of the smart moves would definitely include,
- Not investing in building own IoT tools but to go for buying or partnering for technology.
- Recognizing that both an ant and an elephant have a role to play in nature’s value chain and the same applies to companies of different sizes in the IoT ecosystem.
- Creating a conducive and sustainable environment for
- Cross-pollination of ideas from various domain experts
- Bringing together workforce with different skill sets
- Enabling customers to participate in planning for solutions they want and not the solutions which the technologist think people want
- Building uniformity in protocols and standards, adoption of neutrality and open standards
- Reducing product and service costs through adoption open sources, interoperability, and,
- Investing in R&D for increasing quality, security while bringing cost of equipment down manifold.
In conclusion, IoT requires integration of things on a massive scale and no one industry player can provide an end-to-end solution on its own. The need of the hour for companies in the IoT space is not only to strengthen their own ‘smart’ capabilities but also start converging with different players in the ecosystem.
About the Author:
Ms. Shweta Berry is a seasoned evangelist of Integrated Strategic Marketing in the Technology Products and Services space and a content strategist. She has over sixteen years of experience working with multiple MNC’s, mid-tier and start-ups in India in various industry verticals including Tech Mahindra, NIIT Ltd., Magnaquest Technologies, Mobile5050 to name a few. Currently she is working as the Director of Marketing and Communications with Aeris India, pioneers in the IoT technology.
Shweta is on the IILM Academic Advisory and the Board of Governors and holds Masters in International Business certification from Grenoble Ecole de Management, France and MBA from IILM, New Delhi. She is an avid traveler, photographer and a foodie.