Success in IoT is possible only if the companies solve a customer’s problem or save cost or comply to standards
By Srinivasa Moorthy S A
Having spent good amount of time with start-ups and matured product companies in the area of Internet of Things (IoT), I have realised that there are 12 laws that all IoT companies have to follow to succeed. Here are they:
- IoT is a not a product but it is a Solution: Success in IoT is possible only if the companies solve a customer’s problem or save cost or comply to standards. Just making a ‘thing’ or a piece of cloud software will not lead to success.
- Hardware is a vehicle for revenue not a principle source of revenue: IoT is not a commodity product that hardware can be sold, and money can be made. Hardware in an IoT solution is just an enabler for revenue not the only source of revenue.
- Success in IoT depends on good design engineering and not technology: An IoT solution will be successful only if the product is reliable, rugged and low cost, not on the latest technology.
- Network will not be available everywhere and all the time: Never assume network connectivity will be available always and everywhere. This is true especially in RF network and connectivity. RF circuitry follow Murphy’s law!
- IoT solution will be successful only with partnership not by a single owner: Any successful IoT product is a result of partnership with partners bringing the best in them. No single company can create an IoT solution alone!
- End-to-end software has to be developed together: Stitching multiple pieces of software will not succeed. They have to be developed together.
- Large volume of data is worthless unless you know how to make sense out of it: Quantity of data doesn’t ensure success, but quality data does. Ensuring the right data to be collected at the start of the project leads to success.
- Subscription revenue is sustainable over product sales: Revenue from IoT is sustainable only if the revenue is from a subscription model. One-time product sale will never generate revenue.
- Competition Catches up earlier than expected: An IoT solution that is relevant and adds value to customer only succeeds. Cost is not a major factor and low-cost competition catches up earlier than you expect. Demonstration of value for money (Bang for the Buck) is a must.
- Use open source for profitable IoT business: Build solutions based on open source as this allows you to upgrade and migrate easily. This is true in the cloud software.
- Solution/Product support is a must: Plan up front for multiple level of support. Good IoT projects have failed because of lack of support from solution provider.
- Success of an IoT solution comes from understanding the client’s process not from the Statement of Work: Spend time in understanding the client’s process and workflow well rather than depending on the Statement of Work given by the client which covers little data.
Srinivasa Moorthy S A is the Chief Executive Officer of the Andhra Pradesh Electronics & IT Agency. He has over 30 years of experience in the IT industry as Head, Leader & Technocrat in the Electronic Product Design & Engineering Services.