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Webinar “How to avoid the most common IoT challenges”: questions & answers

We recently held a webinar on challenges in IoT. Below, Martin Whitlock answers the questions posed by viewers after the live stream concluded.

Martin Whitlock, CTO
September 9, 2021

Watch the recorded webinar and read our white paper How to succeed with connected products and avoid the most common IoT challenges for a deep dive.

In your experience, is it mostly time to market that fails, or is it also the IoT business case?

The most common mistake that we see is underestimating all the different steps that need to be in place before you can start scaling your IoT solution. We have seen many enterprise customers who required a lot more time than they had forecast to see their IoT solutions scale, which impacts the entire process and business case.

The lack of planning can hold back the full potential of your IoT solution. For example, without the measures in place to charge for connectivity it would need to be a free service.

We have also seen many companies who have identified completely new applications of IoT in addition to what they originally set out to achieve. Go to market strategies are often impacted by a mid- transformation shift from an implementation delivery to a full ‘as a service’ type of delivery.

For more specific examples please reach out to us personally.

When you say, ‘designing for the future,’ does that mean all IoT solutions need to support 5G if launched today?

Not necessarily.

We recommend that companies really evaluate the business purpose of all their solutions. While 5G is a future technology and will enable many new capabilities, most solutions that are launched today do not actually need all the bells and whistles that are included with it. 5G is currently only available in certain locations, and it will be a while before it has the same global coverage as 2G and 4G technology, which means that it might not immediately be relevant.

New solutions should be able to support 4G to be future proof, and while 2G can still provide the best coverage on many markets, these networks are slowly being shut down across the world right now in favor of more modern technology. Telenor Connexion can support these transformations where necessary.

How could Asian markets (especially Pakistan) overcome these challenges in less time (having said: IoT skill lacks) leveraging European markets experience?

Do not try to do everything on your own. Partners can make a huge difference in the success of an IoT project. That said, there are a lot of very skilled people in software development and IT also in these local markets, and together we can help each other in scaling IoT.

Companies all around the world can benefit from teaming up with partners who have experience with best practices in other markets, such as Telenor Connexion, and using them break into your target markets.

Could you say something about the revenue potentials of IoT? How do you set the right prices?

This depends on your product and the kinds of services you are launching. Many companies right now are experiencing the need to reassess their business models. Finding the right price levels might involve switching up your revenue streams- instead of upfront payments on products, organizations now need to cater towards ongoing subscription payments.

This may prove to be beneficial to both your company and your customers- incentives to serve your customers will shift slightly from a solution that is intended to be replaced in ten years, generating aftermarket value in the meantime, to a product where the value creation comes in excellent uptime, performance, and longevity, which may instead allow you to charge a higher price than what you have been able to charge before.

Which are the relevant IT teams that should be involved in building an IoT solution from scratch?

It depends on the solution you are building. Most solutions today include an IoT cloud, to be able to connect all the data and make sure it’s stored properly, as well as ensure that we have integration points allowing for analysis which will help in creating the business value.

An element to consider in building an IoT solution from scratch is hardware implementation, and while most of our customers have inhouse skills when it applies to producing hardware, these might need to be complemented by specific skill sets within IoT technology and mobile networks.

Chances are that you will also need IT teams for front end portals, as well as secure payment solutions (particularly if you are transitioning from product distribution towards products as a service), etc.

Most companies would benefit from mainly investing in the skill set that could focus on creating the business value. This might mean the people who are hands on when it comes to the analytics of the IoT data to support the business.

Investing in building an IoT solution from scratch can be cumbersome and time consuming, as can the size of the operational efforts required to maintain the solution once it is built. This is why we recommend finding partners that can support you in a managed service-like setup. Much like we do at Telenor, offering the Managed IoT Cloud solution for instance in addition the connectivity.

It is important to consider that most companies today do not have the resources or the willingness to invest the time needed to be successful with projects of this size. Focusing on creating value within your own area of expertise and bringing in outside help for the rest of it can go a long way towards ensuring the success of your IoT journey.

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