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Taking the training wheels off your IoT data monetization strategy: A look back on SIDO 2018

3 min read  This April, mnubo participated in the 2018 SIDO conference in Lyon, France. [...]

3 min read


This April, mnubo participated in the 2018 SIDO conference in Lyon, France. This major event, dedicated entirely to the Internet of Things (IoT), attracted thought leaders from across Europe. It was a great opportunity for mnubo to observe emerging trends, more specifically the innovations surrounding the data and IoT analytics space. Throughout my discussions, a few key themes stood out. Here are the key takeaways:

  1. Manufacturers are struggling to quantify business-driven ROIs, proof of concepts are good for immediate, short-term wins.
  2. Conversations are shifting from technical capabilities to best practices for deriving IoT-driven business insights.
  3. Manufacturers are in a dominant position with end-to-end visibility over their connected install base.

Taking the training wheels off
The IoT is coming out of its infancy and maturing into a more developed market. Companies are investing in IoT initiatives, but we are still seeing a lot of projects stop at the ideation phase due to a lack of resources or experience. In other words, they need their training wheels.

In the last year we’ve seen a surge in the number of IoT projects and initiatives. We’ve also seen more variety in the verticals addressed. But even with this progress, the market is still plagued by a lot of smoke and mirror. We have not reached a point where companies can easily demonstrate quantifiable business-driven ROIs.

One of the main reasons for this is that the IoT is unique when it comes to deriving ROI. While the general purpose of the IoT is to collect and analyze a greater volume and variety of datasets, it takes several months or even years of work to get to that point. This includes the design, manufacturing and/or retrofitting of industrial assets and/or consumer products; the selection, deployment and configuration of a device management cloud; the design and development of mobile and/or Web Apps, etc. All of these activities must simultaneously comply with the strictest security constraints and privacy regulations.

Learn to ride before you race
Over the years, we have witnessed the concept of the IoT evolve from a conversation largely between engineers working with the sensors, to one that engages various business units and C-level executives.

Before committing the time and resources to a full IoT product launch, product manufacturers and service providers should validate their use cases through a carefully scoped proof-of-concept. They can use the results from this initial project to assess the value of their continuous investment. In other words, product manufacturers and service providers need to ensure IoT projects are business-driven from day one.

We saw clear evidence of this at SIDO, where conversations were not dominated by comparisons of technical capabilities, but rather best practices for deriving IoT-driven business insights – customer churn/engagement, assets diagnostic/usage, predictive trends, etc.

Growing up… You’re not the boss of me
With the availability of IoT product data, we are seeing the power shift from service providers to manufacturers. Where yesterday manufacturers were designing, building and selling products without visibility over the install base, today IoT-powered manufacturers are collecting more data than service providers, contractors and distributors ever dreamed of. This puts the manufacturers back in the driver’s seat, with the ability to (1) measure and influence the engagement of their end users, (2) closely monitor and control the type of aftermarket services, (3) better control their brand, and (4) boost their top and bottom lines.

So what next?
There is a growing number of brands that are disrupting the market and challenging the status quo. Yet, while we are seeing more and more success stories, the majority of the smart product manufacturers are still uncertain of the real business value and how to gain measurable ROI from their IoT investments. Companies who lead with a business-centric, data-driven strategy are benefiting from real outcome.

Curious to hear your thoughts and experiences from SIDO 2018. If you are looking to learn more on how to define a data-driven IoT strategy and drive business outcomes, would be happy to chat or connect you with one of Mnubo’s IoT data experts.