This blog offers a glimpse of some of the topics and technologies covered in our recently published study, IDC TechScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Connected Products Technologies, 2015
As a manufacturer, citizen, or consumer we cannot avoid exposure today to the hype surrounding Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices. This exposure extends from personal experiences (personal fitness trackers) to community experiences (smart parking meters and garages), to the business realm (remote-operation of mining equipment). The noise in the market makes it difficult for manufacturers to understand how to best capitalize on the opportunities that IoT and related technologies offer. A well-executed connected products strategy has the potential to transform business models, drive new growth, and dramatically change the manufacturing value chain.
At IDC Manufacturing Insights, we’ve been covering the evolution of connected products for years, including how it has impacted specific manufacturing segments like automotive, with connected vehicles. More recently, my colleague Kimberly Knickle and I have jointly produced a study on connected product technologies in manufacturing, released this week in the IDC TechScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Connected Products Technologies, 2015. Our goal was to produce an assessment of the connected product technologies that are essential for manufacturers in creating and deploying connected products for tangible business benefit.
There is no “off the shelf” package that integrates, maintains, manages, and services just the right combination of technologies for connected products, leaving many manufacturers confused and uncertain about the best path forward. That’s one of the reasons for the study. This IDC TechScape is designed to assist manufacturing executives in identifying new technologies that should be considered for connected product effort.
What type of technologies are addressed in this study? This IDC TechScape identifies technologies used to support the design, manufacture, and delivery of connected products to the market. Ranging from connectivity technologies that enable products to connect with their environment (e.g. low-power Wi-Fi or wireless sensing and locating) to technologies that add intelligence and create value on top of the physical product (e.g. autonomous operations), the study offers our analysts’ insights regarding speed of adoption, potential level of risk, and level of industry excitement.This short video provides an overview of the study.
As my area of focus is on customer experience and aftermarket services, I am particularly intrigued by how connected products are acting as a disruptive force within many manufacturing segments:
- As products blend with services, companies will need to change many of the supporting operations to facilitate the product/service mix, including the way they bill for their offering.
- In some cases, manufacturers will shift the balance of their revenue stream from product sales to the sale of ongoing services (whether they are monitoring or usage based) that capture revenue incrementally.
- This will require all levels of the organization to transform to support the new business models.
The landscape of technology for connected products is constantly shifting. The study we have just published is an excellent starting point for manufacturers to consider their approach to connected products today. We encourage manufacturers to use the IDC TechScape Graphic to start a conversation around what makes the most sense today for their company regarding connected products technology adoption, and where to strategically move in the coming months, as this transformational market continues to evolve at a rapid pace. I look forward to keeping you abreast of the ongoing developments in this market.