By working with some IoT leaders we have learned a few common elements in successful Internet-of-Things products. In this article we will outline three of these major characteristics.
A defining trait of a successful IoT product is a clear, well-defined reason for the product to exist. Without this, past the initial hype of release generated by a successful marketing campaign, customer's interest and retention will greatly decline. Many IoT products offer little more than minor convenience and novelity, which a consumer is not likely going to integrate into their daily lives.
As an exaggerated example, the value proposition of a internet connected piece of furniture, which tracks how much time you spend on it and sends that data to your phone, may provide very little benefit for the user. In this case, conducting market research and surveying many potential users would help in avoiding a potential product failure.
On the flip side of this, having a high-value IoT product, such as a system which allows the user to remotely control various aspects of their home, may fail by not recognizing what their key value proposition actually is and therefore missing the mark in marketing.
As discussed in our articles 3 Considerations Before Designing An App and 3 Common Reasons Mobile Apps Fail in 2018 spending time defining the value of your product, conducting market research, and understanding the scope of your project is VERY important since it is the entire reason your project exists. This holds true for any product, internet-connected or not.
In summary, know your value proposition, know what problem you are solving, and market accordingly.
Another way IoT products can increase their chance of success is by utilizing existing underlying IoT technologies as opposed to developing their own. By taking advantage of the fact that many companies already have done large scale, real-world testing and integration, companies looking to create a new IoT-based system can avoid reinventing the wheel.
By utilizing IoT-enabled devices, like the Imp by Electric Imp or the Arduino, businesses can focus on the bigger picture problems they are trying to solve instead of the low-level implementation details of IoT devices.
This characteristic of success is mostly relevant for large, business level IoT projects but also holds some relevance for smaller projects. With the integration of IoT into the strategies of businesses, it is important that the businesses make sure that their employees are well-versed in IT and various aspects of IoT.
Since IT hasn't been integrated into the traditional business world on a global scale, it has not been necessary for business employees to have skills in IT. However, with IoT strategies becoming increasingly valuable to businesses, providing training and courses to employees will greatly increase the chance for success.
Like anything, by having individuals who can give informed feedback or raise concern to a particular business decision or strategy allows refining and redesign to take place rapidly. This helps in increasing the change for IoT success.