Enterprise IoT: Getting Started

Enterprise IoT: Getting Started

In the previous blog post, digital reimagination of the business to drive customer value was identified as the number one characteristic of IoT Leaders. Fundamental change leads to innovation and substantial value creation.

Just what is digital reimagination? Partly it’s just fancy marketing.

I think one way to approach this in the context of IoT is to look at the enterprise’s customer journey. Ask questions to uncover opportunities for adding value from a customer perspective. For example, despite all its shortcomings and early days, Amazon’s Dash button fundamentally re-answers the question “How do my customers buy my product or service?” in a whole new way.

Using the stages of the customer journey as a guide, some questions to ask for digital insights include:

Actions: What is the customer doing at each stage? What actions are they taking to move themselves on to the next stage?

Motivations: Why is the customer motivated to keep going to the next stage? What emotions are they feeling? Why do they care?

Questions: What are the uncertainties, jargon, or other issues preventing the customer from moving to the next stage?

Barriers: What structural, process, cost, implementation, or other barriers stand in the way of moving on to the next stage?

Beyond Digital Reimagination

Digital Reimagination is one perspective for enterprises to get started on the IoT path.

The IIC (Industrial Internet Consortium) has a good guide on more- The Industrial Internet of Things, Volume B01: Business Strategy and Innovation Framework. While it is focused on industrial application of the Internet of Things (IIoT), the same framework is useful for wider IoT thinking.

As a first step, the report starts with the end game- what’s in it for the business?


The framework identifies a variety potential benefits from IoT:

  • cost and revenue optimisation,
  • operational efficiency,
  • real-time business insight (decision-making),
  • new market and customer experience improvement,
  • new services and
  • societal improvements.

Opportunity Ideation

The hardest part for enterprises can be to get started towards realising those IoT benefits.

As the report says, “Like all projects, IIoT projects must start with an idea. The difficulty is that the potential of the IIoT is vast and as not yet fully understood, meaning almost all IIoT projects are ground-breaking to some extent. Clear development paths to follow are not yet commonly available, and ideas can emerge from any part of the organisation. Enterprises seeking to engage in the IIoT should therefore draw on as wide a pool of talent and knowledge as possible when identifying potential projects. ”

Their take is to have “a structured framework to target and select the right IIoT opportunities”. The first step to get started is “opportunity ideation”:

  1. Using IIoT technologies to optimise current products, services and business operations, and;
  2. Launching solutions based on innovative business models.

Summary: The 3 Ways

The three areas where enterprises (and others such as government bodies) should start their quest for uncovering IoT opportunities are:

* Digital reimagination of the customer journey,

* Optimising current products, services and business operations, and

* Solutions based on innovative business models.


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