IoT Startups: How Crucial Is This Decade?

By Anand Bhandari


In the coming decade, IoT will be used extensively across the industries over the years to come. With increasing demand, the startups, which are the arteries of the ecosystem, have to cater to the demands of Industry 4.0 and deliver effective solutions that can last for years. This article discusses some of the important ingredients for a startup to be successful in the IoT sector.

In last decade, one of the significant technological advancements that the electronics sector witnessed was the adoption of IoT by industries and enterprises. IoT is expected to be adopted across different industries and complement other technologies to make life better.

Startups have an important role to play in this field. Let’s have a look at some of the aspects they should consider while developing IoT solutions and products for industries of the next generation.

Beyond labs

IoT aims to help industries and many other environments in achieving high productivity, efficiency, safe working environment, and low carbon emissions. These IoT solutions are usually developed through research and development at lab scale. After that, rigorous testing is done to validate if these can survive the environment in field.

Unfortunately, majority of the IoT solutions do not succeed beyond laboratories and so do not reach the market. This is because there are a lot of issues related to interoperability. In an IoT system, there are various proprietary technologies communicating with each other to take care of connectivity, security, and regulations. And the developers have to bring all of them into a single platform, which is nearly impossible.

According to CISCO, these issues related to interoperability have resulted in 75% project failures. Moreover, statistics suggest that only one out of six organisations are actually benefiting from implementation of the IoT solutions.

These statistics are very scary, and one of the major reasons for this scenario is perception. A developer from an IT background may claim that 35% of his projects have succeeded, keeping in mind the specifications and features. But from a user’s perspective, only 15% of people say that IoT has helped them. These statistics need to change, and startups must try to take these numbers from 15% to 50% in the next two years, and 80 to 85% in the next 4-5 years.

As said, one of the biggest reasons for failure of IoT solutions is perception. IoT today is like the proverbial elephant that is being looked at by some blind men in their own different ways. Some think IoT is a network of interconnected sensors, some consider it to be just AI and analytics, and some talk about connectivity or applications only.

It is critical to understand that an IoT solution is a complete ecosystem from hardware to connectivity. Imagining IoT products being a complete package, with each aspect given equal importance, is crucial. It is important that we come out of this blind man syndrome and begin our journey in IoT properly.

The approach

For building a helpful IoT solution, one should start thinking of a domain or a vertical to solve use cases. There are many use cases available to start building an IoT platform. The IoT platform we are talking about here is an end-to-end service, right from the hardware to the cloud applications. Installations and after-sales services must be considered in the end-to-end service.