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IoT sells but who’s buying?

Technology deployments for technology’s sake are worthless. IoT is no different. A successful IoT project goes beyond the cool factor and originates from a business objective that clearly outlines the problem to be addressed.

Technological assessments are ancillary activities. Don’t get me wrong, I love tech. Tech is awesome. We just need successful IoT projects that move the needle in the right direction.

Most vendors are great at pitching you case studies and features, and in most cases implementation seems pretty straightforward but IoT (as with other exponential tech) is very different. General use cases do not apply easily and require a deeper knowledge of the problems to tackle.

Mind the Gap

The true chasm that exists today is between the tools and the real life application for exponential technologies. The knowledge of exponential technologies is not yet “evenly distributed”. You may understand the company’s problems deeply, but may not always understand the capabilities of new technologies.

Technology vendors should focus on their capabilities and provide guidance to customers in a consultative role. SAP does precisely that with their Leonardo accelerators and help their top customers envision clear applications of exponential technologies.

Companies on the other hand need to make an effort to train and expose their managers to new technologies and get their creative juices flowing. Singularity University Programs are great for that purpose. Exponential tech needs to be approached just as a musician approaches a new instrument. Play with it, understand it and then brainstorm/jam applications for your organization.

The Bottom Line

Understanding benefits for commodity products is usually pretty straight forward. Cost is so low and the value proposition is so straight forward that we are able to make quick assessments. The application of new technology is much harder to understand. Technology advances so quickly that generalists miss what specialists see so clearly.

It all comes back to good old “listen to your customer”. Trying to sell an IoT platform or service without approaching consumer/business clients with a truly consultative approach is a waste of time, money and reputation. IoT solutions need to be framed in additional dollars earned or substantial cost reductions to final customers.

IoT solutions need a real and true consultative approach, not by having the client approaching you with a “job to be done” but with you reaching out to the client to understand their pain. Get out of the building and start connecting the dots for your clients.

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