How to transform my business model with internet of things
First of all, when internally the question arises "what is IoT and how can I apply it to my company", it is necessary to give some tips that can help to conceptualize this type of projects from the beginning:
- Initially the term Internet of Things, coined at MIT in 1999, referred, in a very simple way, to connecting everyday "things" to the Internet for information and intelligent management.
- Today, the Internet of Everything seeks to connect anything to the Internet or a private network that allows us, among more and more options, remotely manage or even modify our environment thanks to this information gateway between the thing and the user.
- In order to do this, we have to understand what we mean by "thing" and link it to the second concept, which is "data".
Within the real IoT projects, we differentiate three types of scenario where we have the thing and the data.
- Generate data where we don't through a network of multiple sensors at a global level. This is the project dream of every IoT lover. Factors such as electronics, connectivity, scalability and data analysis naturally converge in this type of project.
- Connect multiple devices that generate and collect data that already exist and are installed. These devices (machines, SCADAS, PCs, household appliances, wearables, etc.) increasingly have more databases or APIs with which they connect remotely to collect and exploit data on a platform of their own (Azure IoT, Bluemix IBM, Nexiona, Thinworxs, SAP Leonardo, etc.) for operational, commercial or marketing purposes, for example.
- Connecting physical objects to the Internet that cannot have an attached data generation and collection system or a communications system that allows data about them to be uploaded to the Internet. Here we introduce the concept of "asset" of a company, which will help us better understand this post.
One of the main levers for starting an IoT project within a company and which has become the starting point of all conversation is: which are the assets of your company that can make you lose money? and which are the assets of your company with which you can make more money?
Logically everything cannot be reduced to the economic part, but it is undeniable to recognize that one of the main stoppers of these IoT projects, so novel, is to monetize the investment made where what you are looking for is to gain in efficiency, control and competitiveness.
The maturity of the concepts linked to IoT reached today forces us to reflect:
- Can IoT change my business model?
- Can I differentiate myself from the rest by applying new rules to my business that directly impact my clients thanks to IoT?
The answer to these questions is yes.
Here you have a series of very clear examples of how large companies have gone from selling a product to selling a service thanks to IoT:
After all this we ask ourselves the third and last question: how do I conceptualize an IoT project for my company at the business level? One of the options you have is to follow at a high level the following 6 steps:
As can be seen in the image, IoT projects have naturally gone from being conceived as something that could be monitored and measured (we could include them in a concept of operational efficiency) to a business model aimed at impacting our users differently.
This starting post will help us understand why we connect things to the internet, which is what we really want in the end, but above all, how, thanks to these examples, we can change our business model and become more competitive.