IoT: It Isn’t The Tech; It’s The Experience (And The Data)
Technology is the enabler but it is not – nor should it be – the focus of how we empower next-level human interaction. Today’s leaders not only think about how to digitize their entire business, they focus on bringing new experiences to customers – enabled via AI, Machine Learning, and even Voice and AR/VR. For companies looking to lead and win, the idea of adding connectivity technology to each device has evolved into leveraging design thinking. This essential paradigm shift means that companies are actually transitioning from a product-based to a solution-based approach to design.
This new, broader focus on experience will transform industries. The wearable as we know it will disappear as IoT becomes integrated into the very fabric of our lives. IoT systems that enable a comfortable, natural experience that delivers intrinsic value to people and companies is where corporations must focus. No one cares how technology makes that happen just as long as it enables people to save time, be efficient, do more, and have more fun. It’s about removing the focus on the technology and centering attention on the frictionless experience.
Today, companies are accelerating their embrace of IoT technologies as they focus on what matters most to their customers.
What it takes:
Companies that succeed in digitizing their business offerings and leveraging IoT solutions will have secured two strategic benefits.
First benefit: By leveraging the solution and the IoT data it provides, companies will have the kind of information they need to design and deliver new frictionless experiences to their customers.
Second benefit: From understating much more about their business, workflows, resource management to obtaining operational excellence with the insights gained from the data.
Many companies will not realize the full potential of an IoT solution. To deliver the right solution, companies have to make big changes. Here are four key things that firms must do to prepare:
- Transform your Culture: To transform and to be well positioned to be competitive, companies will need to start with transforming their culture. Today many companies’ employees focus on delivering technology to deliver a product or service. They do not spend the time understanding their customers deeply enough. The culture must focus on the customer and how to deliver a seamless experience for each customer.
- Move from product-focus to solution-focus systems: Today, IoT sensors are integrated into most everything, but many of these products are not connected to each other,where the data originates, which means the solutions collect everything. How do you know where to focus and determine what data is the right data to collect?
At a high-level, a company must look to understand and map to the user and business goals and apply those to a holistic solution that includes multiple products and services. This means focus is on defining what data is collected, when it is collected, the context of that data and how the business will be able to leverage the data to inform its strategy. This data must allow the business to deliver new valuable customer-facing experiences that can be monetized while driving operational excellence through new, more efficient work flows and/or intrinsic data enabling employees to make better decisions in context and at the time of need. The challenge of this is: organizations are not accustomed to thinking this way, they don’t know how to use the data but they know they must modernize and digitize their business or they will be left behind.
- Have a strong data strategy: Most companies collect a lot of data but it’s not organized or designed into systems to be able to leverage that data. Employees need and expect more data to do their jobs, and it must be delivered in context, in a format they can consume and provide some actionable advice to help them. Data strategies are key to success and it’s all in the name of deriving better experiences, experiences for customer and enabling employees to deliver better experiences.
- Transition from silos to integration across functions: Companies must move away from silo organizations and move to integrated solutions across organizations. I have seen so many companies fail because one organization had different priorities and different ways in which employees are evaluated and rewarded which simply makes it difficult for an organization to be successful at delivering broad changes and solutions.
In closing, IoT is the leading way companies are transforming their businesses. The focus on the customer is growing and the companies that focus their business on the experience, will win.
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