Getting Your Business IoT-Ready: Outcomes, Not Products

Nils Herzberg

PiaggioYou may not realize it yet, but your business is on the cusp of a significant inflection point. Yes, yours. And you get to be there for the ride – or more accurately, for the journey.

The Internet of Things enables companies to connect to just about everything and collect data about almost anything. It’s redefining operating models and delivering new game-changing services. Even if you’ve not yet dipped your toe in the IoT water, chances are your business will still feel its effects at some point this year, either from your supply chain, your partners, or your competitors. Either way, it’s time to get in the game.

Like many people, you may be curious or even interested in the journey but don’t know where to start, or maybe you can’t see how it would apply to your business. It’s something I hear many times. And my answer is the same every time: Start by determining the outcome you want.

Let me give you an example, and a pretty cool one at that. The other day I was going through some ads for Piaggio Group, the leader in Europe and one of the four world leaders in the scooter market. The Group owns some of the most envied brands in the world, including Vespa, Moto Guzzi, and Aprilia. I was fascinated to see how they’re incorporating IoT to create a better customer experience, improve the safety of their scooters, and use Big Data to drive customer loyalty.

While their main goal is to help people get from point A to point B safely and comfortably, they are also looking to expand beyond their commute, connecting owners even more closely with their vehicles and the brand. The goal is to make owning a vehicle more fun, connected, and safe, and to expand its customer base while simplifying business operations and future product development.

Using a combination of IoT and Big Data, Piaggio will be able to track what vehicles people buy, what makes them buy, where they go, and what they need.

As Chiara Ugozzoli, the company’s senior vice president of global digital marketing and CRM, explained:

“We want to know our customers as people, understanding in real time what they like and want in a vehicle. The concept of loyalty today has changed. People are loyal to companies not just because they like a product. They are loyal because companies are delivering great brand experiences.”

Of course, every enterprise needs to find its own IoT journey, but my point in sharing this example with you is to demonstrate that your company has the same ability to be equally innovative using the latest technology to support your own business objectives. With IoT, you can create new service-based income streams that will not only help you increase top line growth, but also give you key insights to better understand, engage, and manage your customers.

Thanks to the miniaturization of sensors, lightning-fast data processing speeds, and increases in storage and computing power, combined with the ubiquitous presence of wireless connectivity, the shift to outcome-based business models is upon us – whether you’re ready for it or not.

I’d urge you to take a closer look at the actual outcomes your business is trying to deliver. With advances in IoT and technology innovation, chances are there’s a much faster, more efficient, and profitable way of achieving them.

If you’d like to know more about IoT innovation, take a look at Piaggio’s video and download the IDC Executive Brief for the Automotive industry (registration required).


About nilsherzberg

Nils Herzberg is the SVP at SAP and Global Co-Lead who is co-responsible for defining and driving the Go-to-Market for the Internet of Things.