25 Years ago, the internet suddenly changed the way we do business: from one day to another, enterprises could work faster and more cost efficient, thanks to the world wide web and all of its innovations. Today, we find ourselves once again on the verge of such a drastic shift in business opportunities.
250 years after the Industrial Revolution began, we have arrived at a critical threshold in the evolution of computing. Over the next five years, around 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet, the majority of which will not be computers, tablets or smartphones, but newly invented tools to monitor, analyze, filter, control, optimize and improve the entire world.
IoT: what’s it all about
The Internet of Things (IoT), as this intelligent interconnectivity between the real and the digital world is called, will rapidly transform every aspect of how we work and do business. By connecting apps with their integrated systems, businesses are able to transform their industry significantly: today almost 90% of all data generated by tablets, smartphones or connected appliances is never acted upon. Imagine you could change that. Image you could use those data to create intelligent tools and interconnected systems or services that will allow you to optimize and accelerate your business processes.
It seems safe to say that we have never encountered a single technological platform that combines this much complexity, global reach and novelty.
The future of the IoT is now
A distant future? Not very likely. A number of crucial elements are very rapidly creating a perfect soil for the IoT to thrive in. Smartphone penetration is increasing rapidly and the cost of connecting to the internet has decreased as broadband internet is widely available. More and more devices are being equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities. So much so that in the future everything that has an on- and off-switch can and will be connected.
As the Internet of Things spreads, the implications for business model innovations are huge. Today’s enterprises will need to rethink their entire strategy, as the Internet of Things opens a wide new array of dynamic opportunities. How will companies construct value in this brave new world? Expectations are very high: already three quarters of businesses are exploring the ways in which the IoT can improve their internal processes and services. Moreover, an estimated one in six companies plans to create an IoT-related product in the coming time.
A brave new world for your business
Needless to say, the Internet of Things is still at the early adopter stage, but as new and challenging as it is, it offers a vast playing field full of possibilities. There are already sporadic examples of existing and planned uses across a wide range of industries. Consider for instance an insurance company that is able to reduce risk and offer new value through sensors that track car users’ driving habits. Or think of utilities achieving tremendous cost savings through the use of smart meters and associated infrastructure.
Time for action
Chances are very likely that those companies that understand just how disruptive the Internet of Things will be, will also be the ones that will take a winning role in tomorrow's market. Business strategists already need to figure out the role they want to play and the innovations they want to pursue.
Only one thing is certain: now is the time to start.
Be inspired by the Picanol case.
PegusApps has developed two Android applications for Picanol: Picanol EasySet and Picanol Energy. Both apps connect to the weaving machines via bluetooth and allow the operator to tweak the production process more easily.