Sunil Singh, Regional Chief Information Officer, Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam
The Internet of Things (IoT)—digitizing the physical world—has received significant attention. After going through the initial hype curve, it is starting to become a serious value contributor in various industries by becoming a core enabler of the industry’s digital transformation journey.
Like many disrupting technologies done in the past, Internet of Things (or- Everything) ultimately is benefiting the customers in one of the two ways – removing the entry barriers and allowing new business models to disrupt traditional service models (in case of transport industry – Uber) or making brick and mortar industries to offer better value to consumers by eliminating intermediaries (in case of e-commerce industries – Alibaba). Either way, it is providing great benefits to consumers and more in developing economies where physical, economic, and social barriers are much wider.
Leading firms from industries should consider IoT as one key component of digital transformation roadmap that either; enhances product & services with unique customer offering or drives efficiencies with simplification or elimination of intermediaries’ entities or processes.
Leadership question being, how can one capture the maximum benefits from IoT based applications while minimizing the risk of failures?
IoT is providing great benefits to consumers and more in developing economies where physical, economic, and social barriers are much wider
Technology is disruptive, especially if it were to create a competitive advantage! Leading this change would need an understanding of use cases from industries where it has been successful (or failed) and identifying where the real value from it can be created, in the value chain!
1. Looking at IoT use cases in their specific physical environment in which these systems can be deployed, eliminates myopic view and creates a broader view of potential benefits and challenges.
2. Most IoT data are not used and whatever is used, is with limited use case focused on “anomaly detection and control”! Thanks to the exponential growth in cloud computing, greater value can now be unleashed with “optimization and prediction”.
3. For FMCG industries, the choice of between consumer or retailers’ application is crucial. Business-to-business (B2B) use cases for IoT is likely to create more value than pure consumer applications.
4. There is a large potential for IoT in developing economies. As internet penetration accelerates, Smartphone/ IoT use cases are increasing. E.g. Coke recently used iBeacon to drive engagement and transactions at point-of-sale at universities canteens in a city in south-east Asia with positive results. Example like these will account for bigger value for retail industries in these markets.
5. “Does size matter”? Think again! since providing omnichannel service experience to your smallest customer that buys once a month to one that buys every other day is now becoming possible and your main competitor may have started to offer! Customers will continue to be the king and will capture most of the benefits from IoT.
While opportunities are abundant, the IoT ecosystem must continue to evolve, become more secure, costs must reduce, and analytics platform must strengthen.
Time is running out and to unlock full potential from IoT application to your business will require leaders to embrace data-driven decision making!! It is much harder than it sounds!