IoT: the ingredients for a success

As businesses orbiting around IoT are finally getting traction, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this momentum lies upon a few pillars, a bunch of characteristics, technical properties and features that are critical for an IoT project or solution to succeed.

  • The first and foremost is the end-to-end coverage of the technology stack proposed: the holistic approach proved to be — at the same time — both the most efficient and the most comprehensible by customers.
  • Secondarily stands the cloud with its elasticity, which is the only way for IoT to support the business model shift it often enables (and needs); this is true both “up-facing”, as a cloud environment scales effectively with the growth of the installed base, and “down-facing” as computational servitization makes IoT affordable for SMBs.
  • Last, but not least, is an application-centric approach: I once stated that “vendors are selling platform whilst customers need applications” and I still stand by the fact that a layer of abstraction making the stack underneath transparent for the customer.

However the main point is not about technology, which is a mere — although critical — enabler, as it is about the business side. A very good paper from the University of Pennsylvania (Leveraging the Internet of Things for Competitive Advantage, The Wharton School) nails it with this quote from Chethan Gorur:

The first step of the IoT journey for companies is to identify a clear and realistic business outcome

This applies to every field you can think IoT fitting into, whether it’s an industrial environment or a “simple” advertising, as the legendary BA’s #lookup campaign.

You can have the best technology stack, but if you don’t have a sustainable ROI you won’t go far.

Gorur continues stating that “a lot of the conversation at present is on the plumbing side — around the IoT infrastructure and how it can be implemented. This is important in order to layout the framework, but going forward, we need to move the conversation upstream to business benefits and return on investment”.

Better words were never spoken…

Originally published at

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