Depending on your industry and competitive environment the answer to this question is either that your competitors are using IoT in their business or have added IoT capabilities to their products, systems and solutions OR they have not done it yet. Depending on the answer, you either need to catch up or you can use IoT to create differential advantage. Let us look at the two scenarios:
IoT can be used by your competitors in many ways – some are visible, others are not. The visible ones are ‘connected’ products with mobile or web-based apps creating a better mousetrap. Less visible are connected solutions offering operational monitoring, remote service, field updates or usage reporting and tracking. These can be competitive game changers putting your business at a substantial disadvantage. Usage monitoring means your competitor knows how their products are used when you don’t. Operational monitoring means their distributors and end customers have access to operational information feeding analytical insights and machine learning. Most dangerous is that your competitors are ahead as far as digitizing their business leaving you far behind as they build their moat.
When you look at all your competitors and find out that none of them are doing IoT you have to ask yourself why. Then it’s time to read publications and conference material associated with your industry and business to see what they may be planning? If you find nothing, it’s time to create an IoT project within your company with the right participation from engineering, manufacturing, marketing and sales. Working with IoT solution suppliers can be very helpful as you imagine what IoT can do for your business. A good place to start is by looking at use cases, new products and all the areas we will cover in our ‘Why Do I need IoT’ blog series. Next up Cost Reductions and Expense savings from IoT.