It is taken for granted that the IoT will generate massive growth across different industries. Indeed, the IoT has the potential to create tremendous value for both companies and the consumer. Its impact on existing business models, however, remains unclear; and threats to established players insufficiently explored. As IoT-driven products and services flood the market, a significant share of the overall value may migrate into service- and data-driven parts of the value chain. The IoT accelerates the on-going shift towards services with today’s smart products designed as service platforms open to innovation.
Access to, ownership and use of new data allow for creation of innovative new services and in-depth knowledge of customer preferences. The same data may, however, also enable a rapid emergence of alternative players in traditional value chains: start-ups, digital giants or industry specialists looking for new sources of revenue. A few of them may even end up dominating the data collection or aggregation element of the value chain, taking full control of the customer relationship. With the IoT, borders between industries become increasingly blurred. Car manufacturers become insurers of tomorrow. Tech giants deliver high quality health care.
The IoT brings no ordinary transformation: it’s a long and deep game-changing migration for most businesses. Anticipating the changes brought on by the IoT, remaining ahead of those developments, identifying the use cases with real potential and understanding new business models and associated ecosystems is complex, but nonetheless vital.