I have been asked this question repeatedly – “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 the 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 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 three camps (see below):
1) Enablers: Develop and implement the underlying technology. Enablers are primarily technology-oriented companies, such as Cisco, Google, HP, IBM, FAVORIOT, Cre8IoT, Lenovo, Altair and Intel. These vendors essentially build and maintain the IoT infrastructure that enables Engagers to develop their 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. Companies such as Promosys Technology and Axiomtek.
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. Companies such as SNS Network, E-Tech, and Vesta.
Refer the Enablers, Engagers, and ENhancers of IoT in Malaysia [Malaysia IoT Ecosystem]
If we look at the above three 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 a too-small amount of data) to analyze. That’s why we have been seeing many companies develop IoT middleware and infrastructure for the past couple of years. Without them, we are not able to collect all those sensor data.
I believe we are now in the second stage where companies develop solutions. About 75% of IoT solutions mainly focus on increasing efficiency and lowering costs within homes, cities, and workplaces. “Plug the hole of the ship” before you can move forward or create new revenue streams.
The Enhancers are still at the infancy stage – mainly dashboarding and visualization solutions. The AI and Machine Learning experts are now eagerly waiting to analyze the data collected from sensors more profoundly. The moment we can connect and aggregate sensor data from heterogeneous devices, we will see the true power of IoT in giving valuable insights.
Are you into the IoT game? Are you the Enablers, Engagers, or Enhancers?