I met an old friend after quite a white this past weekend. I barely uttered the word ‘IoT’ while updating him on my career, and he immediately began gushing at what the industry had done for him.
He mentioned how, on the golf course last weekend, he he sliced (yet another!) drive into the woods, and an app connected to his driver reminding him how to straighten his wrist to fix his swing. His wife came home last weekend with a smart flower pot that now alerts him on when it needs to be watered and fed.
He went on with other examples — buying an automatic pet feeder that not only releases food, but also measures his dog’s health metrics and nutrition, and lets him know if he’s over/underfeeding her. He talked about installing a camera system, which recognizes the facial profiles of who visits his house, etc, etc
What struck me is the near limitless applications in IoT for predicting and prescribing behaviors based on data, sometimes big and sometimes small. Integrating, analyzing and prescribing behaviors at a waste water plant to ensure ongoing smooth operation is critical, but identifying potential intruders at the front door is important too.
The question then becomes about which IoT applications will succeed and what are the critical success factors. Here are a few factors we believe will determine success:
- Project teams must understand the industry for which they are developing the application. This knowledge is essential or determining whether the application is likely to have an acceptable ROI to the vendor. This is true whether developing applications for rocket engines or golf clubs.
- Building on this, project teams must have a deep understanding of the end users’ wants and needs as well as have insights into what the customer will consider an attractive ROI.
- Sensors and other technology infrastructure must fit with the specific application, versus the application fitting into the vendors existing infrastructure.
As IoT continues to growth and evolve, I am eager to see which applications flourish and also understand why some applications fail. That is part of the fun at being on the leading edge of a new technology.