As we look to the next decade, one integral question is top of mind: how can incumbent companies create wholly new business models based on data, digitization, cloud, and mobility — that is, digital services?
Thanks to the widespread integration of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), traditional industrial companies can leverage data to monitor, exchange, analyze, and deliver unprecedented value-rich insights drawn from that data. This approach can happen both at the IoT edge and in the cloud, where data analysis can go even deeper to improve energy and process efficiencies.
It’s clear that IoT’s business value is proven. And we’re past the days of “disrupt or be disrupted”. Instead, we are facing the reality of how to make IoT integration and digitization a competitive advantage in an economy teeming with startups that entered the market as digital natives. Here are three ways that companies can successfully pivot their digitization strategies to succeed in today’s rapidly advancing IoT landscape: Pivot for Success, or Risk Being Disrupted There’s a widespread shift from selling products to selling value. To succeed, long-standing companies must pivot quickly and with agility. But the question is how — how can companies pivot their strategy all the while focusing on creating frictionless ways to solve known customer problems? The answer lies in connected services, corresponding technology, and business-minded people. Through the network of industrial devices connected by communications technologies, companies can implement systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, analyze, and deliver unprecedented value-rich insights. Pair that with talented and well-trained employees and these insights are driving smarter, more efficient business decisions than ever before. A good example of this is a machine builder (e.g., Berto Coffee Roaster) who used data-based services to extend its existing product and service portfolio. In addition to selling manufacturers a shop floor machine, Berto Coffee Roaster can now remotely monitor that machine’s behavior to optimize performance and minimize downtime. Sustain the Digital Shift with Collaborative Ecosystems Succeeding in the digital economy requires much more than just a new digital business model. It also requires two major mind shifts: changing the focus on technology development for technology’s sake to adopting a customer-centric approach to solving known problems and branching well outside the walls of a solo company to innovate within a collaborative ecosystem. There is no single company out there today that has the complete technology stack needed to compete in the global digital economy. Startups need to look to partnerships with large companies to broaden their geographic and market reach – and more established enterprises need to look to startups to fill potential gaps in technical expertise, increase competitiveness and carve out new market positioning. That is where collaborative, open ecosystems are a win-win for companies of all sizes and industries. When working together in one ecosystem, players can accelerate the energy transition, empower industries to make the most of energy and resources, and solve complex business problems through AI applications and data analytics – all in mutually beneficial ways. Consider Senseye, an industrial software startup, which uses digital ecosystems to connect with customers in need of their predictive maintenance solutions. Senseye gains customers and builds out new use cases that help the company further improve its solutions, while its customers – typically legacy enterprises – can implement Senseye’s data-driven solutions to better maintain their manufacturing equipment.
Look to the Fast-Emerging Data Economy
As data privacy, governance, and management mature, we’re facing another major transformation enabled by data. Rather than solely collecting the data points and business insights that arise from IIoT functionality, it’s time to ask the big picture question: “What does more data, and a better understanding of that data, mean for my organization’s revenue?”
With 80 percent of organizations sitting on unstructured data due to oversight, it’s time for organizations to reevaluate their data strategy in order to seize data’s untapped value. There is enormous potential in viewing this data not just as a byproduct of IoT, but as a potential source of revenue.
The data economy is laying down roots fast and furiously and companies are seeing the value of data not just as a byproduct of IoT but data as a product itself. The goal: provide all ecosystem customers and partners with the capabilities they need to monetize their data.
As technologies like IoT continue to proliferate, companies will explore new ways to achieve digitization and deploy data effectively to solve real business challenges. Digital ecosystems can provide companies with the tools and expertise needed to not only outpace the competition but also contribute to a better, more sustainable world.