Projections have shown that by 2020 a record 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet contributing to the narrative of the growing importance of the internet of things. While there might be some variations to that number the sheer volume of devices naturally draws a lot of attention for the market opportunities that various solution providers might hope to capitalize on. Solutions providers are encouraged by such forecasts and are keen explore these still nascent markets and hence they start to invest into newer technologies.
However it’s important to understand if this excitement about the number of devices actually translates into demand for tangible market solutions – after all one can hope for only so much interest in connected toasters communicating with each other. As the hype around the internet of things settles there will be clear signs of how it will be defined by the various solution providers that hope to build an effective IoT practice. It is important for companies to focus on specific areas where they can build solutions based on their inherent strengths. While it is true that expertise in cloud, analytics and mobile solutions will help in building IoT solutions it is not necessary that every solution will require these capabilities.
For example – at present some of the most valuable markets that can be categorized as IoT include transportation and logistics where areas such as fleet management, track and trace, automated inventory management etc. highlight the need for the IoT solutions. Logistics companies are always on the lookout for IoT solutions that help run their operations more smoothly and efficiently. Solution providers that already have a significant presence in these markets would do well to capitalize on such trends and develop their domain expertise in these areas. Similar to this, solution providers in various other markets with different focus areas would do well to start focusing on developing solutions by growing their domain expertise rather than making heavy investments in developing capabilities that might not translate into market success.
So, the takeaway for solution providers that are serious about riding the IoT wave should be a focus on building domain expertise in markets where they already have a presence. This would provide a clearer picture of how market opportunities will develop. Solutions providers can then use this information to make investments in analytics, mobile and other technologies that augment their capabilities. As the hype settles solution providers will take a prudent approach to find their niche in the burgeoning IoT space.