In the late 1800’s people stopped using oil and kerosene lamps in favour of the new big thing – electricity. And without giving it much thought, they stuck to the idea that the control for the light source should be placed adjacent to the lamp. So in order to turn on the light in the hallway you had to walk into the darkness until you reached the actual lamp. Soon someone came up with the idea that you could place a chain just inside the door. The chain was connected to the actual light switch by the use of rope and a pulley system. A somewhat primitive solution, but one that did the job, to put the light switch where it made most sense. The rest is history and today lots of things in our houses are connected and can be controlled by the use of smart phones. A tech-person may describe The Internet of Things (IoT) as connecting something physical with something digital. But for the rest of us, it’s simply evolution. An ongoing passion to improve and make life better. It can be a capsule inside your body keeping an eye on your vital signs. Or perhaps a new clever light switch.
IoT isn’t rocket science, it’s just the next step to make your company thrive
In a world where products have become almost indistinguishable from each other, competing with price has become an unwanted necessity. IoT can be a real business opportunity for companies that up until now have been selling products. With an IoT solution that adds value to your offer, you seamlessly move into selling a service. Say, for instance, that you sell tyres. If you add an IoT solution that informs the driver when it’s time to change tyres or how they should adapt their driving based on both tyres and weather conditions – then you have differentiated your offer and moved into a more value driven relationship that many customers are willing to pay more for. IoT is not about technology, it’s about where you want to take your company and how your are going to get there. Vision and strategy got your company to where it is today. It will take you to the next level as well. And IoT is a new possibility that can make a huge difference.
Think big. Start small.
No matter what line of business you’re in, every company needs to evolve in order to compete and be relevant to customers. IoT can be a new tool to get there. Spend a day with your colleagues and throw some ideas around on how a digital connection to your product can enhance customer experience, improve reliability, safety or any aspect that is relevant to your line of business. Most likely you will come up with a ton of ideas, with a spread from the very simple to the very complex. A good starting point for any IoT journey is to choose the smallest and simplest of those ideas. Every step into new technology involves a lot of learning and you need to learn to walk before you can run. Someone said that all new ideas go through three stages: First it’s ridiculed, then criticised and finally embraced. So in every successful IoT project it’s crucial to find a hero. Somebody in your organisation who is passionate and determined enough to see it through these stages.
And after your first success, you can start thinking bigger.