Following its announcement at Cebit last month, the UK government’s investment in the Internet of Things now stands at £73 million.
Following its announcement at Cebit last month, the UK government’s investment in the Internet of Things now stands at £73 million. Private companies have announced their own Internet of Things (IOT) investment programmes too, but the focus all seems to be on consumers’ use of the IOT.
For the government and these corporations to see a solid return on their investment, there needs to be a good business-to-business case for the Internet of Things too.
Here’s where I believe the business opportunity lies. Social media has transformed the power of all customers, including business customers, at the same time, altering their relationship with their suppliers. The Internet of Things will enhance these changes further. Equally, all those connected objects will increase the amount and type of information businesses have about their customers. Businesses will soon be able to see correlations and patterns that they simply couldn’t before. Analysing this will give insights about customer preferences and behaviour: when and how they consume, what they want, what they like and what they don’t like. But for this information to be valuable, businesses need to do more than just look at it, they need to act upon it.
Additionally, there’s another stream to the business-to-business Internet of Things case. Employees brought their own devices into the enterprise because they wanted a consumer-type experience of technology in the workplace. They felt it would make them more productive. Hence the BYOD trend started. I believe we will see something similar with the Internet of things. Employees will bring consumer-driven Internet of Things apps into the workplace, pushing business adoption. So the business opportunity that the Internet of Things presents to most companies is around customer engagement and analytics – in both cases largely delivered through apps. It seems to me that once again software has a vital role to play in enabling change and creating new business opportunities.
And for the IT Directors who grab this chance, the Internet of Things will make them even more pivotal in the success of their organisations. If you are an IT Director who needs some help with software development for the Internet of Things, drop us a line.