Why so much noise around IoT? It looks to me that consumers are not very enthusiastic so far, probably due to a lack of user-friendly and well-designed solutions on the market. For IoT to become significant in the consumer market it needs to be more integrated. We need unified ways of operating them and IoT devices need to be compatible with one another. Until then, well, chances are it will be like computers before Apple made it simple: great potential machines reserved to a bunch of skilled hackers. Now, I’ve already posted that we’re actually already part of IoT. It doesn’t come as a contradiction to that statement; I’m just saying we’re seeing a very little part of its potential, limited by the lack of integration. This is the reason why some don’t believe in IoT yet.
Let’s see why you, on the other hand, should go beyond the veil to understand that IoT is something substantial to leverage. In order to do this you need to shift your perspective from a B2C to a B2B perspective. Let’s make it factual: this study from Business Insider shows that top-adopters of IoT will be businesses. On the 2nd place are governments, and all the way behind is consumer IoT. It doesn’t mean the market doesn’t exist, but its maturity level will probably come later. This difference comes from their respective needs: businesses need to optimize their processes (supply chain etc.) and therefore integrate a lot of different IoT devices that will generate tons of data. The challenge is then for a third company to create a platform that’s capable of handling that big data in a manageable manner (the kind of platform that Copenhagen recently used to create their City Data Exchange, but for a company). As soon as you have this central place for data you can improve your business efficiency. For the consumer market the challenge is gigantic as in order to get compatible devices, you need all the firms to cooperate with each other. That simply takes longer as you have more stakeholders with the consumer as a final judge of the solutions.
Now that you’re hopefully at least half-convinced, I want to underline the impact IoT will have on profit based on where in the processes of a business it takes place. At this point it’s simple finance. It may sound unnatural, but cutting costs is the best way to make bigger profits. At the end of the day what matters is how much money you’ve made, right? It’s just your profits minus your costs. However you need to make a lot more profits than you need to cut costs in order to generate more money. The reason for that is a business gets taxed on its profits! As IoT is set to cut costs (at least in industries), its potential is high at generating more money…
In a nutshell, it’s easier to believe in IoT when you look at the B2B and Government markets as they’re ahead of the Consumer market in terms of maturity, and can enjoy a great ROI due to the cutting-costs possibilities of IoT. Being aware of this helps understand better the online conversations.