The return on IoT – part 1

8 January 2018
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Reading time: 3 minutes

The rise of the Internet of Things is indisputable. Growth prospects based on data-derived insights are very promising. Both the predictions for the number of connected devices as well as the associated revenues run into the billions, just a few years from now. Therefore the time has never been better for companies to get close to their customer. So why is it that the Internet of Things still has not reached the “Plateau of Productivity” as depicted in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for the Internet of Things?

We find that many companies are struggling to implement a compelling Internet of Things strategy. We believe there are three major reasons for that:

  • Focus
  • Project setup and governance
  • Corporate culture

In this blog post, we take a look at the first reason – focus.

Most organizations have a clear idea of what their strategic objectives are. They also have defined their strategic initiatives to reach those goals. But when it comes to IoT, they are often struggling. Of course, a strategic objective to create smart products or services has been defined. But what that vision exactly encompasses is often unclear. The same goes for what stakeholder shall be addressed and for what purpose.

This is where we believe companies should focus. They need to focus on developing compelling products and services for those customer segments that benefit the most from additional data-driven insights. In other words: They need to focus on their customer’s Return on IoT.

But that is easier said than done. Many organizations find it hard to put themselves into the shoes of their customers. Especially if that involves taking a critical stand towards their own current product portfolio.

In our daily work, we counter these circumstances with a variety of creativity tools that we deploy in a combination of multi-disciplinary workshops, participant homework and sound analysis. With the client we analyze which customer segment contributes most to the company top- and bottom line, both now and in the future.

Disrupting technology

We then look at the specific needs that the various members of the client-side buying center have and develop compelling ideas to address these needs, sometimes involving very disrupting technology. The homework helps select those ideas that are best in terms of creating value, urgency and ability to execute. This allows for a rigorous reduction in the number of strategic initiatives, which in turn only increases the odds for those initiatives that really contribute to the strategic objectives of the company.

Also, by defining such a roadmap, it becomes easier for any organization to allocate the necessary resources and track results. How that should be done and what pitfalls should be avoided is something we cover in our next blog: project setup and governance.

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