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Andrew Parkin-White, Founding Partner of TecFutures, shares insights from their new report, identifying six key trends to watch for when building competitive advantage in enterprise IoT.

TecFutures research into enterprise IoT has revealed six key trends that suppliers need to embrace to build lasting competitive advantage in their markets. We will explore each in turn and you can see a more detailed assessment in our report – Building Competitive Advantage in Enterprise IoT, available for download now.

Increasing competitive intensity

IoT CSPs fear a race to the bottom on prices in an increasingly competitive market. There are a vast number of connectivity providers active at present even though there are clear moves towards consolidation. Growth looks to be slowing as the market matures. Based on our recent TecFutures survey, CSPs expect to see growth of 6.5% in enterprise IoT connections in the next 12 to 24 months. In this context, CSPs can adopt strategy of being a specialist or generalist. What is clear is that differentiation and focus is key and a vanilla strategy will not result in long terms success.

Multiple connectivity technologies in the mix

There is no single technology that IoT CSPs believe will dominate over the next 12 to 24 months. Enterprises will be seeking a blended solution to their connectivity requirements across licensed and unlicensed technologies. Both LoraWan and SigFox appear in the top three when ranked for importance. Wi-Fi is the second most important connectivity technology overall. 5G clearly demonstrates a growing relevance and focus for IoT connectivity and satellite IoT is a relatively new contender in the IoT connectivity landscape and will complement a connectivity technology offering for applications in poorly covered connectivity areas. This is all driven by a wider set of IoT applications that are becoming viable, and a successful suppliers will offer a blended approach to enterprise connectivity requirements depending on their particular use case.

Inadequate understanding of security

Without robust end-to-end IoT security, the enterprise is extremely vulnerable and yet we see that it is not high up the list of enterprise requirements. Of course, the need for security does vary by industry vertical or use case, and becomes even more important as IoT applications proliferate. There are multiple points in an IoT deployment where vulnerabilities are high and enterprises need to recognize and act upon these. CSPs need to urgently educate the enterprise on the critical importance of security, both to existing users and those looking to adopt IoT solutions.

Leveraging adjacent technologies

Enterprises need to be confident to work with a range of different technologies adjacent to IoT to really drive digital transformation. They can have complex needs encompassing cloud connectivity, edge processing, AI, machine learning and digital twins, and these technologies are clearly high in enterprise thinking about their future IoT deployments. They have a strong need to integrate these technologies with their IoT applications to really gain maximum impact and whilst some enterprises have a clear understanding, others may need guidance. Suppliers need to support the in their technology deployments and help them to leverage these adjacent technologies to their advantage.

Importance of non-connectivity elements

We researched enterprise needs beyond connectivity and there were two services that they appeared most interested in. Providing sector-based solutions is the most important non-connectivity service that CSPs can offer, followed by effective on-boarding (focusing on efficiency and zero-touch). Sector based solutions tie in with the desire to see vertical market track record, a feature that emerges through-out our survey.

Delivering value for the enterprise

Enterprises deploy IoT solutions to deliver tangible business and competitive advantage. They are looking to enhance the their customers’ experience and improve workflow. Suppliers need to recognize what is driving the enterprise towards IoT and deliver this value through IoT solutions, so demonstrable understanding of the broader business case is essential. Equally important is to recognize enterprise pain points – lack of expertise and technical understanding, need to integrate multiple technologies and concerns around security. Guiding an enterprise through the design, build and implement process builds a strong relationship.

This guest post originally appeared on the TecFutures Blog and is reprinted here with kind permission 

TecFutures provides a range of bespoke and custom research services to help clients with their Commercial and Technology market strategy decisions around IoT and adjacent technologies. We specifically help management teams solve critical issues in market research, analysis, and sales enablement.

Andrew Parkin-White

Founding Partner, TecFutures

Download the TecFutures report – Building Competitive Advantage in Enterprise IoT

The TecFutures Insight Report on Building Competitive Advantage in Enterprise IoT. Based on a recent survey of IoT CSPs, we analyse six key market trends in Enterprise IoT affecting opportunities for CSPs. The report then takes those trends and identifies four key actions that suppliers to Enterprise IoT can take to secure competitive advantage. The six trends covered are:

    • Increasing competitive intensity
    • Multiple technologies in the mix
    • Inadequate understanding of IoT security
    • Leveraging adjacent technologies
    • Importance of non-connectivity elements
    • Delivering value to the enterprise

Available now in the MEF Insights Directory