Internet of Things as a global trend
The Internet of Things is seen worldwide as one of the most important technological and business trends and is also called the ‘4th industrial revolution’. The renowned consultancy firm McKinsey puts it in the top-3 of the most impactful developments and the predictions are that by 2020 there will be about 50 billion connected devices.
Information-driven added value
The Internet of Things is about physical objects (products, devices, machines) being given digital, data and information driven added value. With – often simple – electronics, wireless connectivity and a connection to the Internet, they become ‘smart’ and ‘connected’. With this, the physical and virtual world become increasingly interconnected. And the technology is ready for it. Sensors and other electronics are becoming more powerful, smaller, more energy-efficient and at the same time cheaper. Wireless connectivity is everywhere and cloud services can be used easily.
Opportunities with new insights and remote influence
Through IoT insight are gathered from events in the physical world that were not there before and it becomes possible to initiate actions at any distance and at any time. This creates opportunities for cost reduction, process improvement and quality improvement on the one hand. On the other hand, opportunities arise for new product functions, additional (digital) services, new business and revenue models and completely new experiences. One of the most important added values of smart and internet connected products is that it becomes possible to gain insight into customer and user behaviour. This makes it possible to serve the customer even better and with the continuous contact that arises the relationship can be further improved. The collected data and information is also valuable input for the development of future generations of products and services.
New revenue models
Companies often earn their money in the same way for years. We see, however, that companies often have many more ways to generate income, especially with data and information-driven innovation. This often involves combinations of revenue models such as product sales, software, services, information, content or indirect income (for example, on the basis of a platform function). In relation to revenue models in the Internet of Things, privacy and data ownership are very important and sensitive aspects on which well-considered strategic choices have to be made from the outset.
Collaboration as a distinction in your business model
Many expertise’s come together in the Internet of Things. It is impossible for a company to have all the knowledge and competencies in-house. Collaboration with other parties is therefore crucial. And not only cooperation in the form of customer-supplier relationships but also in the form of strategic partnerships. And exclusive partnerships with strong parties are extremely valuable because they cannot be copied by the competition.