As 2016 comes to an end, we have compiled some of the most insightful learnings that we have collected from our customers and technology partners over the past 12 months. We are releasing the first of three parts today. It focuses on new use cases and challenges. Tell us what you think!

What are the top 5 most important classes of IoT devices or connected products that businesses are interested in building?

  1. Connected cars
  2. Connected industrial assets (i.e. connected factory, connected supply chain)
  3. Connected cities
  4. Connected home appliances
  5. Connected medical devices (consumer/patient, industrial/telemetry)

Comment: interestingly, this ranking applies to both net new and retrofit connected products. A lot of current IoT offerings leverage infrastructure, sensors and standards that have emerged over the past decade. Hence the need to support multiple modern and “legacy” protocols to ease integration.

What are the top 3, most important use cases in IoT?

  1. Connected products / product as a service
  2. Predictive maintenance
  3. Rich, continuous customer experience

Comment: the first use case consists in transforming physical products into bundles of digital services (e.g. automotive); this is massively disruptive. Predictive maintenance, or PMI, enables intelligent, data-driven monitoring to prevent downtime and missed revenues for connected product operators, such as a fleet managers or car-sharing services. The third scenario uses real-time data to provide more personalized, contextual and relevant services to customers, a holy grail in the digital economy where customer acquisition and loyalty are key underpinnings of successful businesses.

What are the top 3 new challenges created by IoT and for whom?

Challenge Users
Scale with millions, if not billions, of transactions requiring real-time processing over heterogeneous networks
  • IoT product makers
  • IoT process operators
  • IoT entity identity managers
Complexity, with a wide variety of people, systems and things to manage
  • IoT process operators
  • IoT integrators
Privacy, with more data being exchanged and mined through machine learning
  • IoT product makers
  • IoT users/consumers
  • IoT auditors

Wrap up: the adoption of IoT is accelerating as end-users embrace connected products and as companies understand how connected products can increase brand engagement, loyalty and generate new monetization streams.

The concerns around security and privacy should be addressed by using IoT platforms for identity and digital ecosystem management, such as Covisint. They empower users and businesses to better manage data access and entity relationships within IoT ecosystems: who can interact with whom/what, when, where and for how long.

Solving this challenge is critical for vendors and operators who want to manage complex connected product or service ecosystems at scale.