How can we make IoT solutions easier for customers and prospects to understand?
Steve Brumer, Partner at 151 Advisors, had an interesting discussion with Paula Bernier, Executive Editor at TMC, around the fragmented IoT ecosystem and what, if anything, is happening in order to bring customers and potential customers complete IoT solutions.
The IoT ecosystem can seem somewhat confusing for companies who are trying to decide if they need an IoT solution. Should they purchase or create an IoT solution? The whole process can seem really difficult because it can encompass a lot of moving parts!
With this in mind, Bernier asked Brumer “Is there truly such a thing as IoT one-stop shops, and if so, who is providing them?” Brumer’s answer: “There are not as many providers as people may think!
Many system integrators such as PwC and Accenture along with communications services providers and platform companies in the IoT space, tend to position themselves as one-stop shops. However, when was the last time you came across a company like Sierra Wireless offering a complete deal? Currently, companies and prospective customers are better off going with an industry vertical solutions provider for IoT implementations.
To give an example, for industrial automation applications, Rockwell, or others in this space would be a good pick, but for smart business IoT deployments, Otis or Honeywell would be a better pick.
Big players like AT&T, Verizon, Accenture, and PwC have some really interesting case studies and ROI stories. As more and more IoT solution providers speak of their experiences, companies that are interested in developing IoT solutions or providing IoT solutions need to focus on asking some fundamental questions:
- What does an IoT deal incorporate?
- How is the IoT deal done?
- Who is supporting it?
- How is it being billed/charged for?
In order to make the IoT ecosystem easier to understand for companies and potential customers, the main focus should be education and leadership. As there is no distinct leader in the space moving efforts forward and with legislators not having the knowledge to address the many issues of implementing IoT solutions, the IoT industry will continue to lack security and other standards that are required.
Although, to our credit, there has been a shift within the IoT space with companies. The FCC and the FTC are talking more and more about security and IoT. But the fact still remains that Cyber Security in relation to IoT is a gray area, with no clear rules and limited implementation.
Education is needed all around from Capitol Hill to the clerks that are selling IoT solutions through retail channels such as Home Depot and the Apple store, most clerks don’t even know that they are selling IoT solutions! Even those within specific IoT solutions sales roles and sales channel partners surprisingly know very little about what they’re selling.
Education is key to the understanding of the IoT ecosystem for any organization. Due to the lack of education and availability of sector specific case studies, we find that many businesses often need help to ensure that their IoT solutions/projects deliver the functionality and results they’re aiming for. This is why some companies select to bring in an external team such as 151 Advisors to act as their interim IoT executives and bring their IoT strategy/solutions to life!
In summary to make life easier for IoT customers and prospects we need:
- More use cases & ROI
- Complete solution offerings
- Education and answers focused on IoT security
- More leadership within the space
If you are interested in learning about how 151 Advisors can help your company with an IoT strategy or a go-to-market strategy for your current IoT solutions, please reach out to us online or call us at +1 (917) 521-5272.