3 Ways Retailers Can Move Towards Monetizing the Internet of Things
You've undoubtedly heard of the Internet of Things, or IoT, the intelligent network that monitors, measures, meters and monetizes the vast quantity of data flowing through it.
By 2020, experts estimate that more than 26 billion devices will be installed and connected to the IoT, generating hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue from next-generation business models. Indeed, some say the revenue potential is in the trillions, not billions. Furthermore, the IoT is already reshaping how companies do business and, in particular, retail sales channels.
To claim your share of the IoT's $7 trillion in revenue pie, consider these three ways to help you move faster down the path to monetizing the IoTs:
1. Think beyond the device. What if your business has nothing to do with smart homes, fitness, health care, transportation or any of the other industries currently being heralded as first movers in IoT? Not to worry. Truth is, IoT monetization opportunities go far beyond the self-adjusting thermostats and wearable fitness devices of the early adopters.
The real money to be made in IoT will come from the services that connected devices make possible. The enormous amount of data that's generated will create incremental value for your customers and revenue opportunities for your business. And in most cases, that data will come from the "things" of the IoT, consisting of low-cost sensors and smart chips.
The hardware embedded in the IoT is the enabler, not the commodity. It follows that commodity pricing will help accelerate the explosion in the growth of the IoT's new revenue models.
Companies would be smart to think of strategic partnerships as an avenue to make their IoT concepts a reality. For example, Lindsay Corporation, a manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, used the same strategy to develop its IoT application, FieldNET, which enables farmers to remotely manage crop irrigation from smartphones and tablets. The company's lack of expertise in software development didn't prevent it from jumping on a hot IoT opportunity. Instead, Lindsay teamed up and enlisted the services of a third-party cloud application developer.