Oct 4, 2015

IoT growth options for service providers

Do mobile operators and M2M service providers have a role in the emerging IoT market? This is a hot topic in corporate boardrooms, industry journals [1] and IoT conferences [2]. It’s also one where MNOs, M2M service providers and technology providers hold opposing opinions, even within the same company.

It’s clear that companies are keen to capitalise on the IoT opportunity. This should be no surprise given the drum-roll of multiple billions of connected devices from different analyst firms. What holds companies back is their relatively incomplete grasp of:
  • how the market will develop along different dimensions,
  • where the innovative commercial opportunities are crystallizing,
  • and, what strategic initiatives will help companies to position themselves to capitalize on market opportunities (as distinct from worrying about where the next tranche of connected device sales will come from). 
One way to simplify the IoT strategy challenge is to step back and visualize the emerging market landscape. This provides the map against which individual companies can plot their IoT strategies. It’s a bit like a person sitting on top of a tall hill, surveying the surrounding countryside and deciding on the best route between points A and B, taking account of his/her own resourcefulness.

Just like the countryside below our strategist on top of the hill, it’s useful to think of the IoT map in terms of a cube to illustrate three avenues of growth.