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September 5, 2017

Internet of Things, was conceptualized by a group of research students at Carnegie Mellon University frustrated with empty Coca Cola vending machines way back in 1982. It is only recently that the industry has found ways to use and benefit from the Internet of Things (IoT). Although its potential hasnt been fully explored, it is believed to be the technology that will change the world of manufacturing.

The main reason for IoT to recently gain momentum is that it allows you to track and monitor your products when it is with the end user. This year alone, per Gartners estimates, there will be 8.4 billion connected things in use. The ability to do that opens up a world of new opportunities for organizations seeking to take their post-sales experience to the next level.

According to estimates from the International Data Corporations Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide, global IoT spending will experience a compound annual growth of 15.6% over the 2015-2020 forecast period, reaching $1.29 trillion in 2020. As a leader, if you can leverage it quickly and swiftly, not only will you transform your business but you might also disrupt the manufacturing industry.

An IoT-based ecosystem allows you to track and monitor on-field product performance. The data generated from that can be used to provide better after-sales service or predictive maintenance services. That data can also be analyzed to identify technical weaknesses or customer needs, and help conceptualize and design the next product. The possibilities are just endless and will significantly boost customer satisfaction.

Here are five steps to help you lay the foundation for an IoT-ready business that will wow your customers:

  1. Determine the best use cases: Review and understand which products and services will benefit the most from IoT enablement.
  2. Calculate the impact: Use existing data to study the financial impact of IoT on your products and services.
  3. Conduct a mini proof of concept: Implement IoT-based solutions to one product or a product-line to understand its impact on your business. Doing so will help you create a strong business case for an organization-wide IoT rollout.
  4. Make the case for customer data sharing: Ensure that you manage customer expectations well and inform them in advance about the value they will get in exchange for sharing their personal data with you.
  5. Create a robust IoT foundation: Evaluate your needs and build the infrastructure you require to efficiently manage the torrential inflow of data, to truly transform the post-purchase experience.

IoT is here and early-adopters will secure a strong competitive advantage, and win the hearts of customers, a share of their wallets, and a greater chunk of the market. If youd like to learn more about how your organization can benefit from the IoT and how you can improve customer experience after the sale, you can read my article How IoT Technologies are Revamping the Post-Sale Experience in the latest edition of our management journal, Perspectives.

Alex is a Managing Partner in the TCSs Global Consulting Practice heading the Technology industry Go-To-Market Team. He has over 20 years of consulting experience in the High Tech, Media, FMCG, Retail and Telecommunication industries working with Fortune 500 companies around the world. He has been leading projects ranging from developing mobile services strategies for global CPs to using advanced analytics in automating demand forecast and capacity management for national network roll-outs. Most recently Alex has been focusing on automation/cognitive computing application in digital transformations along with developing and implementing cost optimization strategies. Prior to TCS, Alex worked with Accenture and Capgemini and was responsible for lunching over 20 successful internet startups.


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