The internet of things and the capability to connect to the internet suddenly brings all kinds of new implications for products and their value. The internet of things is fundamentally changing how products function and how customers derive value from them.

How the internet of things is changing products and impacting what customers perceive as product value

Products today are becoming a combination of physical components, smart components, and connectivity components. Each of the 5 layers of the IoT stack plays a role — core product infrastructure, sensor systems, connectivity, analytics, and smart applications on an IoT platform.

While all three elements — Strategy, Connected Things, and true IoT platforms — seem somewhat elemental, balancing these will be central to the success of any IoT enabled business initiative.

For instance, look at a simple product, such as the light bulb. What is the product? In this case it’s the light bulb itself. What is the value of the product? I’m not talking about the monetary value, but rather the reason, need, or problem that drives the product purchase in the first place.

You might say in this specific case, the value of the product is the light that it provides, the illumination it creates, or perhaps the extension of functional hours it delivers.

What if we were to add connectivity to the product? By using an app on a device that controls the bulb via Bluetooth connection, you could now change the color of the light remotely. You could control the function of the light bulb with the sound of your voice. You could use the products new functionality to simulate the sunrise and replace your alarm. You could even sync the bulb to reflect your fluctuating stock prices! There’s a host of applications now available – just for a single light bulb.

Revisiting the original question, evaluating your new connected light, what is the product? Is it still just the bulb? What about the app that controls it, or the device that supports the application? It’s really an interesting question to consider. It’s really an interesting question to consider. For this same connected product, let’s talk about its value.

Again, I’m not talking the connected product’s monetary value, but rather the reason the product would be purchased in the first place. Would it still be just for the light or illumination, or is it the array of colors, new features and functionality? The fact of the matter is – the value of the product has changed. The connected product now adds value in the form of light, remote control, entertainment, and even overall experience.

How and Where to Start Developing IoT Strategies

Products and their value are changing

As a consumer shopping for an original bulb, you were most likely looking for a certain wattage or color (such as yellow or white) – not an experience. The connected product now adds value in the form of light, remote control, entertainment, and even overall experience.

Now that products are changing and you have systems of products: an app, a bulb, connectivity; the product value changes as well. You now have the ability to look for a light that can be synced to music or sound. A light that simulates the sunrise. A light that you can control from your device. You now need to weigh product value against a slew of new price points, features, and the support the manufacturer will provide over the years.

There’s no question that the value of products is changing because products themselves are changing. We’d like to help you map out this new world. If you’d like to do anything from brainstorm potential impacts to your business, develop a full strategy for IoT at your organization, create proof-of-concepts, or implement underlying technology… you’ve come to the right place.

We’re your partner in the ever-changing world of the internet of things.

Already know that you want to start dabbling in the Internet of Things (IoT) but have no idea where to begin? According to ARM, The Internet of Things Business Index, “A lack of IoT skills and knowledge among employees and management is viewed as the biggest obstacle to using the IoT more extensively.” EAC Product Development Solutions is offering the perfect way for you and your team to get started – with a hands-on IoT workshop.

This workshop, called the IoT Strategy Development Workshop, is pretty much what it sounds like…and it’s not just another class that delivers ideas of how the future is supposed to look. You actually get your hands dirty and work with your team to develop alignment between business initiatives, strategic frameworks, and vision statements. The workshop is 2 days and involves 4 different sessions including IoT Experience and Excitement, IoT Basics, Strategy Development, and a “Shark Tank” IoT pitch to peers.

Below you will find a transcript of a Q & A with Brian Ignaczak, Director of Research and Development at NORMA Group. Read about his team’s experience with EAC’s IoT Strategy Development Workshop. Contact us if you think this hands-on workshop would benefit you and your team.

NORMA Group develops AN IoT Strategy

Q: How did EAC’s IoT Strategy Development Workshop help you better understand IoT and how a smart connected product strategy could impact your business?

A: “The EAC IoT strategy development session showed us how we could add value through the use of data… it focused on the value-added business opportunity and helped us get over looking at just the gadget side of IoT.”

“I think the biggest takeaway we had from the EAC development session is that we were able to develop an IoT mission statement that aligned with our business initiatives. It brought together a number of stakeholders to put together an IoT plan that fit our organization. That has probably been the most durable product from our strategy session.”

Q: When did you realize the IoT could create more value for you and your customers?

A: “The EAC strategy development session helped us realize that IoT could be a big area of development for us. We want to be a technology leader. It fits with what we do. We want to stay on the cutting edge of technology and make sure that we don’t miss out on any revolution with respect to potential capabilities that we can add to our products. The session with EAC showed us many ways this could be possible.”

Q: In what ways did EAC’s strategy team help guide you to find your value drivers?

A: “EAC’s strategy team helped guide us to find our IoT value drivers through templates they had us work through. As we worked through the templates, we were able to see an underlining IoT strategy that suited our organization. These strategy templates forced us to fill in what we were really trying to accomplish with IoT.”

Q: How did your team define and prioritize potential smart connected product ideas?

A: “EAC helped us determine where exactly we were headed with IoT. We were able to thoroughly evaluate if we were trying to open up new markets or try and better serve our existing markets.”

“Looking at smart connected product ideas that our organization could pursue, we decided to focus on opportunities within our existing markets.”

“EAC helped us identify two main areas that smart connected products could fit our business model. The first had to do with addressing customer pain points through the creation of digital products. The second had to do with upcoming changes to the market that were coming via regulations. Their team really showed us smart connected products that could work as solutions for our organization.”

Q: What has been the biggest benefit of having a customized IoT plan to fit your company’s strategy?

A: “From EAC’s strategy development session we were able to determine an IoT framework that we now can discuss. It made our endpoint more concrete. We realized things we weren’t going to do versus things that were possible for us to do. They helped us identify how the revenue streams would flow based off of that.”

“EAC helped our company by setting a realistic IoT vision we are able to work towards.”

Q: What impact did EAC’s IoT processes have on your own strategy building sessions going forward?

A: “EAC helped us realize the importance of basing our IoT initiatives on our mission statement. The impacts of these processes remind us to continuously review that we are headed in the right direction.”

“The strategy sessions EAC held gave our company an anchoring point with IoT. Now, as new opportunities come up, we use the methodologies we were shown to develop products that will meet our vision.”

Q: Describe how EAC’s hands on connected product experiences provided a relatable IoT experience for you.

A: “EAC’s hands-on connected product experiences opened our eyes to the vast amount of data that can be produced. It made us realize how quickly data can be processed in real time. It showed us the vast quantity, the amount of processing power that is available, and how it could all be used to produce something of value.”

“Seeing live data stream on the computer screen and realizing how quickly that is communicated was pretty eye-opening.”

Q: How did the IoT Concepts presentation help frame a basic understanding of your current state and future opportunity that IoT provides?

A: “The IoT concepts presentation helped frame a basic understanding of our current state and future opportunity. It goes beyond technology and starts explaining how others have started to transform their business. The case studies really helped us to understand how some of our peers in the industry have begun to adapt to the changing technology and transform their business.”

Q: During the strategy development session, how did EAC help you realize the alignment between your business strategy framework and business statement?

A: “During the strategy development session, EAC had us break up into groups. We all developed plans and pitches based on an IoT implementation. From there, each group presented their idea to the wider audience. It was really interesting to see how different teams approached the opportunity. After the presentations, we had an open discussion as to what the pros and cons were of the different scenarios that were presented. We are currently moving forward with the winning concepts of those strategic plans.”

Q: Do you feel that EAC had the proper techniques, strategies, and knowledge behind IoT to help implement these new strategic initiatives?

A: “EAC absolutely had the proper techniques, strategies, and knowledge behind IoT to help implement our new strategic initiatives. They have been a very valuable partner for us throughout the process. They are the reason why we have been able to start moving forward with our development. We have made a lot of progress since then.”

Q: What might you say to other companies considering a strategy development session with the EAC specialists to develop or implement an IoT plan?

A: “I feel that EAC’s processes are a great way to jump-start IoT strategy development. Having an outside voice is a very important aspect of that. They come in with a different point of view and it really helped bring together the different viewpoints from our stakeholders and teams.”

“EAC’s processes definitely helped us push forward. (EAC) has been a really good partner in furthering what we’re trying to accomplish. For us, getting beyond just the technology side and really trying to build IoT into a business plan is one of the things that they have emphasized. They helped explore the best possibilities for us.”

“We have been more than happy with the engagement of EAC. We feel that they have a tactical view of how projects move forward. With IoT, there is a lot of uncertainty and there are many companies that don’t deal well with that. EAC helped guide us to explore and embrace the uncertainty of the emerging market.”

Is EAC’s IoT Strategy Development Workshop right for me?

Unpack the digital revolution within your company by developing an IoT strategy within your organization. NORMA Group found value in taking this 2-day hands-on workshop. Contact us to start your own IoT journey.