Blog May 04, 2020

Mind the Gap and Be Ready For the Jump

IoT Strategy

These are days unlike any most of us have experienced. First and foremost, we are taking measures to safeguard the health of our elderly, our families, coworkers, and fellow citizens. But we are also facing the responsibility of ensuring the survival and return to business of industries and companies essential to life in the 21st century. Thus, while implementing immediate short-term measures we make plans for the world on the other side of the curve. This entails thinking in scenarios and applying strategic planning.

There are a number of scenarios and they are very difficult to time. However, we can assume that we are currently experiencing a “gap” in business activity irrespective of sector. The length and depth of that gap are two big unknowns. But we can already now envision the changes in human- and business behavior that are taking place and that will result in a “jump” after the crisis is over. And, one thing is very certain: IoT will play a crucial role in that jump.

Thus, this is the time to examine your opportunities to digitize and automate so that you can thrive in an environment of:

  • More concerted and widespread moves to automated manufacturing ​
  • Increased usage of autonomous materials handling and goods vehicles ​
  • More integrated, resilient, and coordinated supply chains ​
  • Investments in smart cities to support community resilience ​
  • A distinct move to virtual workspaces and practices (more “online behavior” throughout our lives)​
  • Extensive health monitoring
  • Etc.

At Tele2 we have always believed, and some would say preached, that IoT has to start with strategy NOT technology. During the last couple of years, we have continued to see IoT projects fail as engineers attempted to scale cool technical ideas without sound business fundamentals in place. But we have also seen well-designed IoT solutions addressing existing and future needs in an innovative way and then quickly adapted and scaled as pilot project learnings come into play.

These successes have always been based on a critical analysis of business challenges and opportunities in light of changes in the competitive environment, in customer demand, and in technology. A sound strategy is always based on three elements:

  • A diagnosis of challenges and opportunities at hand
  • Design of guiding policies to address those challenges and opportunities
  • A set of actions to apply these guiding principles

Note that these three elements are universal, i.e. not specific to IoT. Also, the very term “IoT strategy” can be misleading. It is not IoT that is the end goal or purpose. IoT is a toolbox to apply in an overall strategy. The “IoT strategy” is your strategy for how to apply that toolbox in the most optimal way.

To assist you in developing your IoT strategy, Tele2 is happy to offer a six-part whitepaper that addresses the key questions to ask when developing your diagnosis, guiding principles, and set of actions. The starting point of the diagnosis is to identify your business objectives – What do you want to achieve given a specific set of business conditions? To help you identify the guiding principles for addressing those objectives, we proceed by discussing the possible use cases of applying IoT.

 

Since we have found that too many IoT projects stumble or fail due to lack of organizational buy-in or omission of critical operational aspects, we proceed by helping you identify the key internal stakeholders. Further, IoT risks generating a flood of data that is very challenging to handle. This is an important part of your strategy and has to be thought through before designing a solution.

Finally, we address the IoT-generated benefits to your customers and how you can identify the impact on operational costs. These two last parts are very important! Too many IoT projects have been launched based on vague assumptions of customer benefits and how these can be turned into new revenue. My tip is that you rather try and address the less ambitious perspective of how you can reduce operational costs. E.g. if you can motivate connecting your products solely based on increased internal learnings in further product development or in existing service and maintenance schemes, then any subsequent revenue-generating customer benefit can be seen as an attractive upside! You are much more likely to be right in your assumptions of such benefits after having gained new insights from your connected products.

I hope you find our whitepaper useful. Don’t hesitate to involve Tele2 in your continued IoT journey. We look forward assisting you over the gap and take the jump together in the not so distant future.