End of the Products Era: Gear Up for IoT-Led I-Service and I-Automate

by Sandeep Agarwal

Web or E-Technologies dominated the 1995-2005 decade, while mobile or M-Technologies ruled the 2005-2015 decade. The next decade 2015-2025 will now be led by IoT-driven I-Service and I-Automate.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is emerging as the 3rd generation of business transformation, which had a solid foundation from the E-enabled and the M-enabled world, and this will have a major impact on products and its associated services. By connecting billions of devices, IoT would break-in the Vertical barriers in the Industry and would revolve around the consumer or enterprise as a focus. The beauty of IoT is how it merges the physical world, operational technologies (OT) and information technology (IT), and how it opens up the wide possibilities for consumers, enterprises, industrial, transportation and government led services for smart cities and infrastructure.

IoT, unlike previous technology disruptions, is breaking the boundaries of a vertical industry, and paving way to openly share the data across wider industries. The two major factors: open platform and open APIs, which, with their seamless connectivity — sensors and devices levels — are opening up prospects of additional business values that can be offered to the customer. Auto industry is pairing up with banking, insurance and auto distribution and service sectors to provide one single interface for the end customers. Similarly a consumer electronics company is now able to provide value added services, remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance and hassle free chat support for their customers just by putting a connected device with sensors as part of their product.

A retail coffee machine or a simple water purifier product is now offered in a different business model for pay-per-use, increasing its ability to latch upon its customer, and build a relationship with the customer on a long term and ongoing basis.

So beyond products, the value for the new-era product companies will be in two dimensions:

I-SERVICE – This is part of providing a service to end-user through a connecting device. Healthcare, smart homes, transportation, logistics, and asset management are examples of domains which will latch onto I-Service model. In this model, the focus is on providing a product-as-a-service model and charging the user for pay-per-use. While you are tracking your parcel, your car, your health through a fitness band, or your home through a smart device, the new business models would be in I-Service. It enables customer to take monthly plan and can opt for value-added services to its plan based on its usage pattern and need. The business benefit of this model would be Increased customer satisfaction and increase ROI (compared to just a product selling one-time).

I-AUTOMATE – This is part of another business model, where IoT Solution will enable automation at multiple levels, starting with control, engage and optimize. This model would traditionally be used by industrial, retail, infrastructure and smart cities, where the prime need will be to plug in the leakage, drive cost optimization, faster repairs, and maintenance, quick and immediate support. Much of I-Automate will depend on core predictable analytics and actionable insights. The business benefits of this is cost reduction, and hence higher margins, better turnaround time and increased level of customer satisfaction. In smart cities, this would also control illegal use of public assets and better management of infrastructure and also add to the revenues from concept of smart parking.

In conclusion, the last decade was spend in people leveraging all the new breed social channels to communicate with each other and connect. The next generation of business transformation will be through machines to machine communication. This brings in a lot of newer service offerings and delivery models for end user customers. Making meaningful sense of all the data passed around will be critical and so will be the efforts invested towards delivering critical services and automation through IoT. We see a lot of traction towards this and Happiest Minds is one of the forerunners in gearing up to deliver IoT led automation and services.

Sandeep Agarwal is the senior vice president of Engineering R&D Services at Happiest Minds.

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