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Business and Technology Insights

How To Transform Your Business Using Smart, Connected Products

 
January 10, 2018

Whether you’re in an office, a coffee shop, or a car right now, chances are that there is at least one device around you that is relaying information back to the manufacturer. Thanks to smart sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT), the device is telling its creators how you’re using it, how it’s performing, how many times it failed to deliver or broke down, and how you struggled to make it perform.

Take a minute to picture that. Isn’t it fantastic? You shouldn’t think of it as something straight out of a sci-fi novel, but if you do, you’ll realize the myriad possibilities it presents to you. As a manufacturer, it’s absolutely exciting because you now have eyes and ears on the ground like you never had before. You can find out more information about your products and users, in real time, than any survey or focus group could provide.

Today this information is gold. It opens up a world of opportunities for businesses. However, manufacturers must be prudent in how they adopt technology, and ensure they can make the most of the data that they will gather when they embed sensors into their products. Here are four major factors to consider:

  1. Differentiation: Evaluate how you can differentiate your products and services with sensors and the data these sensors provide you.
  2. Customer value: Understand what kind of value and how much value will be added to your product if a sensor is added to it.
  3. Product usage patterns: Think about how the data you collect from customers via your sensors will be used, and which of your stakeholders will benefit from it.
  4. Data management: Determine and build the infrastructure to handle the flood of data that will come in when you embed sensors into each of your products, much of which needs to be captured and processed in real time to maximize returns.

Once you’ve evaluated and prioritized your opportunities, transforming your business using smart, connected products will be much easier. Some of the key things you’ll need to focus on when you get started are investing in building the right capabilities and mapping your place in the network, forecasting the business model you would like to operate in, and developing a robust security strategy.

Want to experience power of connected ecosystem? Visit us at ARC Industry Forum 2018 at our booth #24, Click here to find out more.

In the end, it’s up to you as a manufacturer to show customers you’re adopting IoT to increase the value you deliver to them. To learn more about the business benefits of smart connected products and how you can get started with them, read my article Why Your Products Must Be Smart and Connected, in this edition of Perspectives, our management journal.

Anurag Jain leads Transformation Consulting Practices in the area of new product innovation, product lifecycle management (PLM) and master data management, for its global discrete manufacturing and process industry clients. He has over 27 years of experience in the industry and in consulting arena, and has been with TCS since past 12 years. He possesses rich industry experience in achieving Business Transformation comprising Product Innovation, Product Design and Development, Plant Engineering, Service & Quality and Marketing. He has worked with aerospace, automotive, farm equipment, capital goods, consumer durables, telecom, chemicals, and hi-tech industries, in different capacity and currently plays advisory roles for major programs and transformation journey. Anurag is a Mechanical Engineering graduate, and has been working with the TCS clients in North America, Europe, UK and Japan.