John Morris: Business is the Only "Thing" – Business Semantics and the Internet of Things

ATN-300InsightaaS: In August, ATN featured a thoughtful post by John Morris in which he discussed the issue of alarm fatigue in the context of IoT. Today, we feature another post by Morris, this time looking at IoT from the perspective of value creation. In it, he approaches IoT from an interesting perspective: rather than focusing on all of the ‘things’ that can be connected via IoT, what is the connection between IoT itself and industry value chains? The analysis leads Morris in some interesting directions, including a comparison of two models (the Gartner Hype Cycle, which Morris re-labels the “opportunity cycle” to avoid the negative connotations of ‘hype’, and the Market Life Cycle, developed first by Everett Rogers in the 1960s) that I have used many times in IT market analysis, but never connected as parallel views of a single cycle, as Morris does here. At its core, Morris’s post argues for the importance of adding value to IoT outputs in the business process – else, he states, a business runs the risk of having its IoT activity resemble a “telephone switch.” In the end, he urges readers “don’t turn your IoT project into a glorified switch. Build your value chain capabilities.” This kind of business-grade review of IoT as an enabling technology is an important addition to the hype (no quotes needed!) surrounding the issue, and an important contribution to serious business planning around IoT.

Do you want to be in the business of selling telephone switches?

Do you want to connect M2M edge devices to decision makers, without providing any business value add in the middle?

Because without applying your domain knowledge, captured through business analysis, that’s how your Internet of Things-based business model will be defined.

If you don’t provide business value-add as part of your IoT project, you’ll be in a rapidly commoditizing business of selling wires, wireless and connectivity.

Which is not to say that M2M and wireless connectivity is not complicated and challenging, both technically and business-wise. But just as with telecoms after monopolies, there won’t be much profit margin in such a business.

Earlier this month…I spoke at Interop NYC, on the “Internet of Things Summit” panel.

My talk concerned the importance of the business semantics for any successful Internet of Things program.

Why focus on business semantics when exploring the Internet of Things?

Gartner Group has identified that the #IoT is now at the peak of an emerging technology hype cycle. And as might be expected with hype, much of the propaganda that we are seeing around the #IoT is in “generalities“, for example concerning the billions of devices that will soon be connected, or the trillions of dollars of revenue that will be up for grabs, or the amazing business models that will define the future.

And certainly momentum and hype are a nice train to ride – but hype doesn’t specifically help any given business or executive decide what to do next. Or define a viable IoT-based business model…

Read the entire post on LinkedIn: Link




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