Enterprise customers say one of the biggest barriers to adoption of Internet of Things technology is that it can be difficult to integrate with their processes and their IT and operational systems. IoT vendors can address this shortcoming by learning more about their customers’ industries and developing end-to-end solutions that meet their business needs. To do that effectively, vendors should focus on fewer industries and work closely with partners to deliver more targeted industry solutions. The figure shows that many vendors are moving in that direction—but not far enough.
Many IoT deployments require customization, usually based on the buyer’s industry. When vendors gain experience implementing IoT solutions in specific industries, they can develop cost-effective, turnkey packages with partners—something that buyers have been clamoring for. As vendors explore the use cases particular to an industry, they learn about the different data sets required, the sensors measuring it and how to process it to glean valuable insights. From this, they discover what’s transferable from one customer to the next. They can then create standard packages, reducing customization requirements, shortening sales cycles and increasing the likelihood of success.
Ann Bosche is a partner with Bain & Company in San Francisco, and David Crawford and Michael Schallehn are Bain partners in the Silicon Valley office. Darren Jackson is a Bain partner in Los Angeles, and Christopher Schorling is a Bain partner in Frankfurt. All five work with Bain’s Global Technology practice.
Vendors can improve the market by addressing customer concerns over security, integration and returns on investment.