Opening Up IoT Opportunities to Everyone

We need to challenge the Internet of Things ecosystem to innovate as much on creating business opportunities as on creating technology opportunities.
By Sunder Singh

White-label offerings can be a particularly valuable way for companies to get their IoT feet wet, since the host provider assumes the technical and infrastructure risk under a very affordable subscription model. For example, both SeeControl and Prodea allow service providers to offer home-automation applications under their own brand to their customers.

We need to challenge the IoT ecosystem to innovate as much on creating business opportunities as on creating technology opportunities. Doing so will benefit not only the companies that can suddenly ride the Internet of Things wave using their native strengths, but also the entire industry—by encouraging new areas of innovation, training existing developers and engineers on advanced technologies to work on the IoT, and quickening the IoT's adoption as new products are invented, standardized and deployed.

For "not yet at the table" companies, such opportunities would mean the chance to learn and experiment with IoT products and services without incurring huge upfront costs or risks. It means the freedom to try stuff out and see what their customers will actually use and pay for. It helps them get the marketing right, develop new business relationships in the IoT space, reimagine their offerings and finetune their organizational support models.

And don't forget the benefits to end users. By enabling many mid-range companies to bring white-labeled IoT solutions to market, not only could users take advantage of these offerings much earlier than otherwise, but their feedback would help service providers sharpen their offerings around the requirements and habits of customers in the field. In short, end users would be directly involved in IoT service and application design from the early days—encouraging faster and wider adoption and improved product iteration.

The McKinsey Global Institute's 2015 report, The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype, noted that "capturing the full potential of IoT applications will require innovation in technologies and business models, as well as investment in new capabilities and talent."

The best way to ignite innovation and develop new capabilities is to offer the tools and services that will allow a wide variety on non-participants to join in the IoT revolution.

Sunder Singh, the global head of Tata Consultancy Services' Oracle practice, leads global teams that design, implement and optimize Oracle solutions to bring new innovations to TCS' clients.

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