Assessing the Challenges and Opportunities of IoT Solutions

The business landscape is becoming increasingly complex to navigate as a direct result of intensifying competitive pressures. Even successful and established businesses must reinvent themselves or, ultimately, face the risk of disruption from new market entrants.

 

Now more than ever, business leaders recognize that their fate is intertwined with the changing needs and demands of society. In order to remain ahead of the competition, businesses should prioritize competitive intelligence (CI). The purpose of competitive intelligence is to enable companies to make more informed decisions by regularly monitoring the external environment in which they operate. This creates a comprehensive overview to identify potential growth opportunities and to avoid any looming threats.

 

The Business Environment
 
  1. In today’s business environment, there are four key points to take note of: 1) Technological innovation and market forces drive the velocity of organizational change. 2) Companies are modifying their strategies to integrate technology drivers into the business planning process. 3) New technologies form part of a company’s entire value chain. 4) Disruptive technologies are transcending traditional business models by unlocking previously untapped resources — for one — data.

 

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), real-time data collected from individuals and smart devices is vastly more accessible than ever before. If we had to think of data as oil, then real-time data is rocket fuel. It’s much more powerful than historical data because of its higher resolution (i.e. the increased number of data points and the frequency of data analysis and collection). This opens up tremendous opportunities in the Business to Business (B2B) world. For example, IoT is fast becoming an important value proposition since it combines data and intelligence to deliver innovative ideas for doing business.

 

Framing the IoT Value Proposition

To paint a more realistic and understandable picture of the benefits of IoT, we must answer the following question:

 

“How does IoT create specific value for a business?”

 

Put simply, IoT eliminates the need for human involvement to gather, transfer and analyze large data sets from various devices. This results in significant efficiency gains.

 

Currently, businesses across all sectors are deploying smart devices to enhance their company strategy. This global shift toward new business models is creating a heightened sense of urgency for organizations to reap the rewards of being first-movers. Like with any new disruptive technology, IoT creates new market opportunities.

 

IoT in Business: The Creation of New Value Streams
 

Among the many business benefits of IoT solutions, it’s essentially the data that provides the foundation for new business models and is at the very core of how IoT is transforming the future.

 

Companies are leveraging continuous tracking, new automation mechanisms and data insights to enhance business operations. Beyond this, IoT helps bridge gaps in business and eliminates blind spots to enable organizations to make smarter decisions. Along with complementary technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain, IoT optimizes processes and unlocks new opportunities, giving companies the necessary edge to leap ahead of competitors.

 

IoT - A Predestined Business Solution

IoT initially found its home in the manufacturing industry — The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) — collecting data from sensors, equipment, and vehicles to inform process improvements. Nowadays, the uptake of IoT is rapidly increasing beyond the realm of manufacturing. Industries like shipping, healthcare, agriculture, construction, and transportation are using IoT to improve safety, profitability, and to enable autonomous business operations.

 

As executive interest and capital investment in IoT continues to rise, organizations are allocating more resources into IoT solutions to provide long-term and sustained value. According to Deloitte’s Industry 4.0 survey of 361 business executives across 11 countries, 94% report digital transformation as their organization’s top strategic initiative³.

 

IoT Statistics in Business
 

In the coming years, new IoT applications will cause many established markets to be disrupted, with early adopters benefitting the most. Around 72% of current IoT adopters say digital transformation is impossible without IoT, while 74% claim that within five years, companies that haven‘t adopted IoT will fall behind their competition⁷. This will result in companies generating entirely new value streams in a way that would not be possible without IoT.

 

IoT Value Drivers in Business

  • Access to real-time data
  • Productivity and efficiency gains
  • Reduces costs
  • New value streams
  • Better decision making through data insights
  • Smarter security and workplace safety
  • Improved asset utilization
  • Efficient logistics
  • Enhanced user experience
  • Reduced time-to-market

 

While the organizational benefits of IoT are widely understood, the most successful companies will be those that effectively prioritize and monetize IoT as part of their overall business strategy. A recent survey of 700 executives revealed that 60% of enterprises with IoT initiatives are expanding or introducing new lines of business; 63% are already delivering new or updated services, and 94% anticipate a profit boost of at least 5% to 15% as a result of IoT⁸.

 

So, why should the following concerns prevent businesses from implementation?

 

Hurdles to IoT Adoption in Business — Do They Have Merit?

  • Lack of buy-in from decision-makers
  • Lack of skills (and access to skills)
  • Standardization and integration concerns
  • Significant upfront investment and return on investment (ROI)
  • Network connectivity
  • Security and data privacy


Ultimately, the lack of IoT adoption comes down to a lack of buy-in, which stems from concerns around ROI and general challenges with coordinating among conventional businesses that have focused for so long on profits.

 

However, the consequences that organizations will face if they don’t explore IoT solutions, simply can’t be ignored:

 

  • If your company isn’t already working with IoT, your competitor certainly is
  • Companies that ignore IoT will not be in a position to enter new markets and generate additional value streams
  • Companies that don't start investigating IoT early on, will trail behind and eventually fade
  1.  

Therefore, implementing IoT into the business is a strategic decision that companies can’t afford to overlook. After all, IoT is opening up new business opportunities that have been impossible — basically unthinkable — until now.


 

Here at Next Big Thing (NBT), we know what it takes to achieve success. Our team of industry experts help companies transform IoT innovation from idea to scale, offering a comprehensive support framework to guide you along the way.

 

To find out more about building your IoT solution with NBT, reach out to us!


 

¹ Strategy+Business, https://www.strategy-business.com/article/14974?gko=d8b48

² Design World, https://www.designworldonline.com/qa-on-iiot-in-manufacturing-the-value-of-being-practical-and-starting-small/

³ The SSL Store, https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/20-surprising-iot-statistics-you-dont-already-know/

Slideshare, https://www.slideshare.net/bernardmoon/internet-of-things-hardware-industry-report-2016

Gigabit, https://www.gigabitmagazine.com/ai/global-iot-spending-could-reach-15tn-between-2017-2025

Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/471264/iot-number-of-connected-devices-worldwide/

Vodafone, https://www.vodafone.com/business/news-and-insights/white-paper/vodafone-iot-barometer-2019

Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/insights-inteliot/2018/08/24/5-ways-iot-is-reinventing-businesses-today/#1106c9ae1c20