12 Laws of Internet of Things


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. End-to-end software has to be developed together: Stitching multiple pieces of software will not succeed. They have to be developed together.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.