There is no doubt that the Internet of Things has become the cornerstone of all research turmoils these days. The intercommunication of smart objects and machines is meant to change the way companies deliver products and build experiences for their customers.
But it will also arguably become the biggest driver of growth in the next decade, reinventing industry sectors in the name of automation and efficiency. Are you ready for the Industrial Internet of Things?
Accenture recently sent out a report dedicated to this new trend in technology, explaining that the Industrial Internet of Things is the force that could help companies and governments to overcome this time of economic uncertainty. This is the starting point for a journey map centered around the customer and extended to embrace the future of production and distribution in advanced economies.
Customer Experience and the Internet of Things
The major consequence of the Internet of Things evolution involves the relationship between brands and customers, and that’s why the majority of analysts have focused on retail customer experience. It’s not by coincidence that we have recently included the I-o-T in the top 10 disruptive technology trends that will shape the digital customer experience evolution. Gartner has also considered it in the list of top 10 technology trends that companies will have face from 2015 on.
Of all the multiple touch points made possible by the mobile disruption, those related to the communication between objects (without human intervention) are - without any doubt - the most promising for your proximity marketing and engagement strategy. The implementation of processes run by the Internet of Things, in fact, will allow brands to reinvent loyalty through:
Personalized content - i.e. iBeacon;
Real-time promotions - i.e. push notifications;
Location based offers - discounts and advertising;
Tailor-made products - i.e. mass personalization;
Innovative payment methods - i.e. Apple Pay;
Gamification mechanics - i.e. wearables.
What is the Industrial Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things, then, has draw attention for its consequences on retail customer experience and its deep impact on your customer experience management. If we move our focus from end users to production and sales management, there we will find the so-called Industrial Internet of Things. We can consider it the ‘zero level’ of this transformation, that involves the way companies imagine, design, produce and sell their products.
It can be defined as a "fast-growing network of intelligent connected devices, machines and objects". Devices that, according to Forbes:
Have local intelligence;
Have a shared API so they can speak with each other in a useful way;
Push and pull status and command information from the networked world.
Accenture explains that the automation will boost the gross domestic product of 20 of the world’s largest economies to 14.2 trillion dollars by 2030. The real question, then, is: are entrepreneurs and governments ready to take all actions needed? Would they accept and adopt the Internet of Things while still struggling to fully embrace mobile-first & mobile-only plans and digital technologies?
The answer is open to further discussion. All entrepreneurs and marketers are well-aware of the importance of the I-o-T as a key factor for success but many - too many - still trail behind the technology pace: 73% say they are still thinking about whether or not they should invest in the Internet of Things and how they could adopt it. Just 7% of companies have already developed a complete strategy with specific investments. The main cause of this delay lies in the lack of adequate digital knowledge and the fear of radical change in how they do business.
- Re-imagine industry models: companies will have to redesign their organizations and operating models, to get closer to customers, improve efficiency and create amazing journeys.
- Capitalize on the value of data: companies will need to generate insights from information collected by physical objects, converting big data into marketing actions.
- Prepare for the future of work: will the adoption of automation mean the end of workforce? Not yet! Employee engagement will become crucial and new organizational structures will allow workers to collaborate more creatively.
The main takeaway here is: the Industrial I-o-T will accelerate the reinvention of industry sectors that account for almost two-thirds of world output. Are you prepared to take full advantage of this opportunity? Are you striving to capture all benefits and avoid pitfalls? To redesign your organization is to redesign your digital customer experience, and the Internet of Things will have deep effects on both, whether you like it or not.
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