Microsoft sees a maturing Internet of Things changing established business models
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a “business revolution masquerading as a technology one”, and as it matures will allow companies to transform their businesses.
Those are the word of Microsoft’s partner director at its Azure IoT division, Sam George, who was speaking at a keynote in Barcelona’s IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC).
“It’s a new set technologies that are enabling business revolution. Companies don’t wake up and decide to connect things for fun, they do it because there’s value in it,” he enthused.
Business transformation with IoT
Given Microsoft supplies its Azure cloud infrastructure as a platform for companies to build IoT services and networks upon, George said the Redmond company has observed the technology industry’s pervasive trend influencing companies operating in all manner of sectors.
From predictive maintenance in manufacturing and logistics companies, to helping agricultural organisations boost crop yields and reduce energy consumption; IoT has arrived in force from Microsoft’s viewpoint.
“A couple of years ago we were seeing people question whether the IoT was real, and today it’s ‘how quickly can I get moving?’ How can I get started?’ And the opportunity is massive,” said George.
But as it matures it is opening the potential to offer more than just ways to improve internal operations and ensure machinery is kept up and running as much as possible.
George noted that the more insightful data harvested from networks of sensors, smart devices and services the more potential an organisation and companies providing IoT-based services have to sell products based on how they are used and improve the delivery of services, effectively allowing previous business models to be evolved or transformed completely.
“Where this is all going in the not too distant future is around business transformation,” explained George.
“Once you know and once you have an accurate prediction for your servicing for industrial things or commercial things you can start changing business models to instead of selling services like a service contract, [you can start] selling up-time guarantees, selling devices as-a-service which is typically higher margin. It cost you less to do and you make more of it and it still has the same value to the customer.”
These insights can also help companies build new product and service lines based on a greater knowledge on what their customers want and how they are currently using the services they have.
Action from Insight
“A very important ingredient in all of this is actions; it’s not enough to have an insight,” he said. “An insight is worth a penny; an action is worth a dollar. Being able to plug into your existing business processes, being able to drive your business is really what connects the IoT and makes it work and lets you realise the business value.”
Such a missive has been championed by companies and luminaries throughout IoT World Congress, with many showcasing IoT systems that provide the foundations on which the digital and business transformation of enterprises and other organisations can take place.
Microsoft appears to be practising what it preaches by bolstering it IoT services, notably with new approaches to security in reaction to the requests of its customers.
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