July 7, 2016
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about GE Digital. To quote that article, “But the business case is to sell the products [with IoT enablement] to its industrial customers–like airlines, power utilities and hospitals — that are struggling to wring greater productivity out of heavy machinery in a time of slow global economic growth.”
At the Evanta CIO event OST participated in Minneapolis in June, the CEO of Ecolab, Doug Baker, described how with the advent of IoT and broad-based data collection for a variety of products, that the total material costs in which a customer pays may actually go down, which means they will save energy, water, and buy less product from Ecolab. So how does a company justify an investment in IoT when it will result in customers buying less product?
Like GE, it means that you will provide higher value to your customers, and that you will use the data provided by the systems to justify continued partnership and investment, and demonstrate that while you might be spending more per unit, that you will be spending less overall. It also introduces new opportunities for service lines that have never been imagined before. That’s what Ecolab is talking about, what GE is doing, and what some OST customers are conceptualizing.
I had a conversation with Rob Siegel, a lecturer at Stanford, over lunch on Thursday. He stated that the new digital economy with the data exhaust of billions of transactions, users and devices will create new economic models for the sale, lease and consumption of the products historically purchased as capital or consumable products. Companies must be able to creatively think about how new technology creates the opportunity for new business models. Investing in IoT solutions is a way for organizations to provide value to their customers beyond what was once even considered possible. It likely means looking at their business in a new way, and adapting to accommodate new processes.
At OST, we are finding ways to help guide our customers through this journey of business transformation. Whether it is XaaS in the data center and cloud, or new business lines created around the solutions we build, helping the client envision this creates greater opportunity and differentiation for them.