Internet of Things: “Delivering the reason of your existence”

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This post originally appeared on the Sogeti Labs blog

Internet of Things, one of the biggest technology promises is on the other end a big pain. A pain for business leaders. How do CXOs need to address this ‘connected’ development? No, for CXOs it is not always that easy to understand technology all the time. More important, if you do not understand something, you cannot anticipate it. And, let us be honest, a technological development like the Internet of Things is for most of our business & industries not an easy ‘thing’ to address…

“How does the Internet of Things impact my business?”

“How to create competitive advantage with it?”

“Internet of Things, not really something for my industry, right?”

Today we are going to help you answer a few of these questions. More important, we want to give some ‘easy to implement’ ideas which should serve as food for thought.

On November, Friday 14th an article called: “5 lessons start-ups have for the “old economy” IoT entrepreneur” appeared on the weblog of Bosch Software Innovations. Bosch, one of the engines of Germanys Industry 4.0 gave its ‘old economy entrepreneur’ followers a five counting lesson on how to approach the Internet of Things. Easy lessons, which companies can use either as a quick win, or for the longer term. These lessons, should unleash the full IoT potential in- and outside their company. That sounds interesting! Let us have a closer look on what kind of lessons the served us with. In essential the 5 lessons are saying the following:

  1. Lesson 1: Start small. You were probably taught that entrepreneurs have to think big? Bosch’s advice: Think again, small = manageable.
  2. Lesson 2: Experts are not made in a day. We have to have the courage to try new things and to stop if something doesn’t work. It is especially here that we need a “culture of failure”.
  3. Lesson 3: Tap the start-up gene pool. “Establishing a parallel substructure in the company”.
  4. Lesson 4: “Not invented here” is cool. The connected world requires you to find novel ways of creating new business models or adapting existing ones.
  5. Lesson 5: Support the truffle pigs. You can provide your intrapreneurs with the more liberal atmosphere that is often attributed to start-ups.

To build upon these lessons I would like to add one called:

Lesson 6: “Sense the reason of your existence”

One of the key differentiators when you compare a start-up company to an industrial leader is having a very specific focus. Start-ups have the privilege to have their focus on their core process. Do not get me wrong, not only start-ups. Big companies have the same privilege but it is one of the hardest tasks of business managers to realize this. While a lot of questions from business leaders start with: “How to…?”, the success of a start-up is in delivering their belief. Delivering the reason of their existence. Nothing more, nothing less.

In the end, the only reason a start-up exists is because it has something a group of customers want. Delivering the target audience what they want and what they need. Bigger companies often grow via fusions and have a lot of processes around the products and services they deliver. I would advise the “old economy” entrepreneur: Use the Internet of Things to sense what the reason of your existence is and deliver the need you have sensed.

After reading this article, what kind of lessons do you have for the: “old economy” IoTrepreneur? Let us know using #startupIOT!

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