Manufacturers have to be extremely careful when developing their IoT strategy and selecting an IoT technology partner, according to Mark Lee, CCO of Intamac.
Lee said: "Asking important questions about security, reliability and customer experience from the beginning is essential in order to avoid potentially disastrous consequences in the future.
The CCO said that the most important thing to remember is to choose the IoT technology partner carefully, and then plan, test and refine the connected product for as long as is required before a manufacturer brings it to market.
Lee added: "To be left behind could be highly costly to a manufacturer at this exciting and revolutionary time for the industry."
To assess IoT strategys readiness, Leed gave manufacturers ten tips:
1. Value proposition
The IoT industry is littered with examples of gimmicky products, with tenuous business cases. The usual rules apply: ‘Does connecting the product solve a real problem it didn’t solve before it was connected or add value in some other way?’
If you are increasing productivity, adding useful functionality, reducing maintenance and repair costs, or providing something people don’t already have then chances are that you will have a solid business case and a viable connected product.
Remember it is your company’s brand reputation that will suffer if there are problems with security, personal data breaches or similar, not the reputation of your IoT technology provider. Contract provisions to penalise the supplier are possible but this is unlikely to fully offset the damage to your brand reputation.
As a result, you need to know that the technology and your provider has a quality reputation within the industry, and uses best practices such as encryption and locking down communication to minimise the risk of a security breach to the greatest extent possible.
By 2016 53% of manufacturers will offer smart products, but the biggest game-changer for these companies will arguably not come from the added product value, but from the data created by the end-user.
Companies considering an IoT strategy must ensure this information is collected, and used to discover deep and meaningful insights into the end-user, their behaviours and how they use the product, to drive product development.
4. Business Model
Implementing IoT technologies also creates the opportunity to modify your current business model to incorporate services with a regular revenue stream, or potentially new markets, products or partnership opportunities for extra value services.
Make sure you have considered all the options, and have the technology in place to do so before you launch your product.
While you might not need a cloud infrastructure resilient enough to cope with millions of users now, it is possible that you will in the future. How easy will it be to scale your cloud and will it still be cost effective? These questions need to be addressed from the beginning to ensure a complete rebuild is not required at a later date.
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