The idea of connecting the physical world to the Internet has been around since the 1990s. The phenomenon of an interconnected world is called the Internet of Things (IoT), and it is dramatically changing our lives. The IoT market has been growing in the last few years and is now at your doorstep; it’s time to take action and adopt the IoT. The majority of companies are left with questions and have little to no idea on how to implement an IoT strategy, due to a lack of understanding or training in the subject. Then, when some level of IoT strategy is implemented, it is often over-promised or over-hyped by companies that have not made as much progress as they would have liked.
Why is it happening now?
IoT is the result of mature mobile network technologies and globalization coming together. Recent years have seen digital technology act as the catalyst for globalization; as a result, enterprises no longer operate as local entities but serve an increasingly multinational customer base. Together, mobile technology and global infrastructure have evolved to a point where they have the reliability, omnipresence, and performance to provide consistent communication around the world.
As enterprises become increasingly interconnected globally, IoT technology offers a cost-effective way to work simultaneously across multiple regions. The consolidation of the generated data then allows businesses to understand their customers and operations better, generate efficiencies, and enhance their business models.
75B things will be connected to the Internet by 2025
The essence of the Internet of Things describes how the physical world, even beyond mobile technology and traditional computer networks, is connected to the internet. In addition to smartphones, tablets, and PCs, potentially more than 75 billion “things” will be connected to the internet by 2025. The world around us is becoming integrated via internet technology, including the lightbulbs in our homes, the shelves in our local stores, and the machines in our factories. With these new connections and integrations, use cases for business are popping up everywhere: autonomous production of goods and services, home automation through “smart” technology, personalized medical monitoring at home, and many more. Much like the Internet itself did roughly twenty-five years ago, the IoT is bringing convenience, efficiency, and safety to a higher level.
Over 29% of organizations globally and across all industries have adopted some level of IoT into their program strategies. By 2013, 12% of organizations globally had already launched an IoT project, commonly referred to as Machine-to-Machine (M2M): the adoption rate for North America alone was 14%. By 2017, that rate across North America had grown to 27% and now continues to climb.
Of the 27% of organizations that have implemented some level of IoT into an existing product or service, 33% are seeing higher ROI’s. Another 24% are seeing the new market or product opportunities allowing them to expand the existing business into new industries. These numbers are on the rise and are expected to grow by more than 20% by the end of 2018. Companies that are just arriving in the IoT marketplace will see significant growth in the next 6 to 8 months with the addition of new technologies to be released this year (2018). Companies that do not yet have a robust IoT strategy should strive for an increase in that strategy quickly to ensure continued growth.
The Internet of Things has been receiving significant hype over the last few years with the promise that “It will change your life forever.” However, in 2018, that change has not yet surfaced to the expected level. However, we are beginning to see a glimmer of hope with connected devices such as the Amazon Echo Show and Google Home. Still, we have yet to see that robot that is capable of completing our daily tasks and leaving us to spend our time with more entertaining activities.
Companies are feeling the same letdown as consumers. In his 2014 article, “How the Internet of Things Changes Business Models” for the Harvard Business Review, Gordon Hui laid out the scale of this challenge:
As the Internet of Things spreads, the implications for business model innovation are huge. Filling out well-known frameworks and streamlining established business models won’t be enough. To take advantage of new, cloud-based opportunities, today’s companies will need to rethink their orthodoxies about value creation and value capture fundamentally.
Most companies have not yet addressed this challenge in the subsequent years. Despite substantial hype and investment in IoT technology since its inception, many companies have struggled to make the IoT a reality in their programs. While companies that have already implemented an IoT strategy intended for their models to advance significantly and quickly in the last three years, the lack of broad, practical adoption has prevented the expected velocity of advancement.
Companies are often concerned that their front-line employees lack the IoT skills and knowledge to move forward with implementation, and that their senior managers lack the knowledge of and commitment to the necessary technologies to succeed with an IoT strategy.
The Internet of Things is still relatively new and considered to be a nebulous idea. In fact, 70% of companies often look to outside consultants or IoT-centric companies for help or try to learn from early adopters in similar markets.
When companies look for and secure outside help they tend to be more successful in developing and implementing a feasible strategy, and therefore reach the market faster. Consultants experienced with launching IoT-based projects have seen the variety of potential pitfalls in practice and can, therefore, detect and resolve issues efficiently.
When trying to understand the Internet of things it starts to get confusing when you attempt to “swallow” the whole pill at once. IoT is a BIG pill and can get larger the longer you think about it or even search online for answers. The Internet of Things should not be this complicated and in my latest book “Untangle the IoT Mystery” I cover the very basics of what makes up the Internet of things from a full blow product to the smaller parts of the project or product like hardware and software. When looking at this, I also dig into IoT security and how to avoid getting yourself into trouble. Security with IoT is relatively simple as long as you follow the easy to use rules I lay out. After many years in both the M2M industry along with IoT, my new Book provides you with a proven IoT Strategy Framework and the all-important IoT Checklist to keep you running smooth.
This book is for someone that wants to understand how the Internet of Things works from basic understanding all the way to advanced use cases. In this book, I have also given you my IoT Strategy checklist that outlines how to start and ensure your project will not go in the fail column. I encourage you to use this book as a guide and reference when developing or getting involved in an Internet of Things Project.