The Internet of things, IoT, refers to the increasing Internet connectivity of today. From thermostats to garage doors, vehicles, watches, and more, technology has reached a point where digital applications that are connected to the worldwide web are more commonplace than ever. Service Providers (SPs), have seen this market trend and are rapidly pursuing strategy designed to capitalize. There are challenges involved, though. Getting to an area of sustainable profitability requires deft investment and market strategy. It also requires getting “ahead of the curve”.
In order to maintain provision of services, while staying ahead of the market, there are a number of overarching actions which can definitely help streamline the process. Included in those are:
• A clear set of goals centered around burgeoning IoT areas
• Proper analysis of available opportunities
• Which services to offer individually/which to collaborate on with partners
• Creation of sustainable tech stack (front end/back end)
• Go to market strategy including sales force, system integration, and partners
To take full advantage of the market, you are required to have an end-game in mind. You need to know where you’re going, and structure your advance with a strategy to get there. A good starting place would be areas where IoT has already begun to take off, like thermostats that can be remotely operated from an application on a smartphone. While many big-ticket organizations have already managed to secure a solid foothold in this market, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for another player.
One common problem IoT thermostats come against is “hacking”. Usually, this hacking comes from a close source, not a remote-one; like a jilted ex-spouse. A fix for this could be a notification of operation sent out to resident smart devices in the house. If you can identify where other burgeoning SPs have missed the mark on an IoT application, you can sell your own iteration of the app with this problem solved as a contact point. Still, an even better strategy is finding IoT areas that have yet to be fully saturated with SPs, but which still have high demand, and “get in on the ground floor”, so to speak.
Properly Analyzing Available Opportunities
The Internet of things is becoming a staple of modern life. We’ve been primed for it since radio. Cellphones were a logical step from there, as telephone and computer technology integrated. The smartphone is the truest first step into IoT, though palm pilots are a close second. But they brought too much too soon, and in a way buggy enough to make them only really useful to a diminishing demographic. Lessons can be learned here. Garage door openers, refrigerators, freezers, window shades and even door locks are getting in on the game. There are also apps now to remotely start your vehicle.
Apps — designed around the relationship between a smartphone and a car — have a high likelihood of success. Consider that car keys with remote wireless functionality run out of battery eventually and can cost a pretty penny to replenish. The newer, programmable keys can be hundreds of dollars to replace. But you can do the same thing as the key with your smartphone! Design an inexpensive — or free, if you can partner with the right people and swing it — app to surrogate these new car keys, and you may be near unicorn territory. Be advised, there are already options of this variety out there; but that doesn’t mean they’re the end-game. Nobody has a palm pilot anymore.
Focus and Collaboration
Businesses needing to advertise can often partner with apps in order to fund an undertaking. But be advised, your app could build a reputation for having too many adverts. You may want to decide what kind of innovations you’re going for and what to offer based on the best collaborative choices. If you can bring the innovation to a group who stands to benefit, there’s room to work.
Come With Something To Offer
Once you’ve identified likely candidates, develop a front-end/back-end tech stack. This is basically how the consumer will experience the application, and how you will manage it from “behind the curtain”. If you’ve got something to show collaborators, you’ll be more likely to secure their funding and support.
At some point during all this you’re going to need a Go To Market strategy incorporating sales/marketing, your partners, and details of system integration. It’s something to keep in mind throughout the process.
Capitalizing On Emergent Trends
Whether you’re a user saving hundreds with a surrogate car key smartphone app, or the developer capitalizing on the market, the Internet of things has a lot to offer. If you structure a cogent GTM strategy that helps you identify partners and ultimate goals for an application or service provision, including an effective tech stack, then the future is bright for you.