The list is almost endless. But which list are we talking about? Each day brings news of the number of devices, applications, and use cases that Internet of Things (IoT) technology will bring. And with it, new business models, products, services, and a host of other data-driven value-generating ideas will take shape.
To put this in perspective, by 2025 there will be as many as 64 billion IoT devices. That number is up from a mere 12 billion at the end of 2018. The same data indicates that the economic value generated by these devices may reach as high as $11 trillion.
IoT Will be Everywhere
So, where will these devices be located? And what opportunity exists for entrepreneurs to tap into the potential it represents? The answer is everywhere. Smart city applications alone in 2018 accounted for 23% of all IoT projects. Industry and “smart factories” were at 17%. And smart building technology accounted for 12%.
By applying IoT technology, entrepreneurs can find opportunities in any field in which they are using their core skills and for which they are developing projects. The challenge is how best to identify what applications are needed and deploy them in a sound and sustainable business model.
The Entrepreneur’s Cheat Sheet
For entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves in virtually any industry, there are some critical areas to remember when building their business. By leveraging these elements, business leaders can ensure that their business will fit into an IoT environment and deliver the products and services customers want. Here is a “Cheat Sheet” for new entrepreneurs on those elements:
- Eliminate Execution Risks – Because 90% of startups fail less than five years from inception, leaders need to improve their execution. Instead of constructing the new product or service and trying to fit it into the IoT ecosystem, business owners can learn to build IoT connectivity and value into the product from the ground up. And while that may sound daunting for resource-scarce startups to consider, it’s better than winding up in that 90%. Reducing execution risks means developing IoT products that are scalable within the IoT environment within their industry. And it means commercially viable products that can interact and seamlessly work with other connected devices while delivering on their original value.
- Know the Numbers – Entrepreneurs also need to know the numbers. While smart cities, factories, and buildings accounted for over 50% of all projects in 2018, these figures vary from country to country. Knowing the numbers will help business leaders determine the best way to penetrate and engage that market.
- Integrate the Data into the Business – While this may sound obvious, many miss the value brought about by data and its KPIs obtained through analytics. Everything from Consumer Retention Rate (CRR) to end-of-lifecycle management programs can be leveraged with data available through IoT. This includes faster, more accurate traditional KPIs and new ways to look at data and chart a course based on what is uncovered.
- Know the Trends – Digital acceleration during the pandemic, changing customer needs, a spotlight on sustainability, and other trends were at the forefront in 2020. By staying on top of trends as they develop, entrepreneurs can make sure they are building products that address these realities. They can also hone their business model to focus on them to uncover new avenues for revenue through additional products and services.
- Develop New Business Models – Today, it’s not enough to roll out a product based on a “good idea” and let momentum carry it to the moon. With IoT technology, entrepreneurs can develop entirely new business models. Because the landscape is so vast, it opens up business opportunities that would not have been available or that would not have occurred to owners in the past. Through deep analytics, machine learning, and AI, businesses can understand customer tastes, leverage business insights, improve operational costs, track assets, and other cost-saving mechanisms in addition to offering value-added services and new products.
The department of Research and Innovation at Georgian College helps entrepreneurs and established companies focus on a wide range of skills needed to navigate the world of commerce and understand how their business can fit into IoT. Through the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC), entrepreneurs can find paths to training, mentorship, and connection to help them succeed in the IoT-rich world of tomorrow. To find out how we can help you bring new ideas to life and engage and develop experienced leaders to help build your business, contact us today.