Where do I begin my IoT journey?


I have been asked this question again and again – “I’m interested in tapping the IoT business but where do I begin?“. Let’s give credit to the Research Analysts that have reported the potential of IoT market will be about $2 trillion to $14 trillion. This value certainly opens up many eyes and ears. But instead of jumping on the IoT bandwagon and investing Millions in the business, we need to ask ourselves – where do I place myself in the IOT value chain?

Frank Burkitt (“Six Ways to Define IoT Strategy“) and Brian Solis wrote in (“Internet of Things is Here: What’s Your IoT Strategy?“) mentioned that the IoT players fall into 3 camps (see below)

1) Enablers: Develop and implement the underlying technology. Enablers are primarily technology-oriented companies, such as Cisco, Google, HP, IBM, and Intel. These vendors essentially build and maintain the IoT infrastructure that enables Engagers to develop their own connected services.

2) Engagers: Design, create, integrate, and deliver IoT services to customers. Engagers offer the direct link between IoT and the market. They use the endpoint, hub, platform, and service offerings (the IoT infrastructure) created by the Enablers to produce services for consumers and businesses.

3) Enhancers: Devise their own value-added services, on top of the services provided by Engagers. These companies provide integrated services that reframe and repackage the products and services of the Engagers. Their value proposition stems from creating and extracting value from the data, relationships, and insights generated from IoT devices and activity.

If we look at the above 3 camps, it all started with the “Enablers” – it’s the starting point before we can even move up the value chain of “Engagers” and “Enhancers”. Don’t talk about big data analytics when there is no data at all (or too small amount of data) to analyze. That’s why we have been seeing for the past couple of years many companies develop IoT middleware and infrastructure. Without them, we are not able to collect all those sensor data.

I believed we are now in the second stage where companies are starting to develop solutions. About 75% of IoT solutions are mainly focusing on increasing efficiency and lowering costs within home, city and workplaces. “Plug the hole of the ship” before you can move forward or create new revenue streams.

The Enhancers are still at infancy stage – mainly dashboarding and visualisation solutions. The moment we are able to connect and aggregate sensor data from heterogeneous devices, then we will see the true power of IoT in giving valuable insights.

Are you into the IoT game? Are you the Enablers, Engagers or the Enhancers?

About the Author

Dr. Mazlan Abbas is an IOT Evangelist, Thought Leader and CEO of REDtone IOT. You can reach him on LinkedIn at https://my.linkedin.com/in/mazlan/ or Twitter at http://twitter.com/mazlan_abbas . You can find MOST of the presentation slides HERE.
For further details, check out http://about.me/mazlan.abbas

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