I do analysis and recommendations concerning innovation and technology for several  industries on an almost daily basis. One of the conclusions I can share is that there is a growing consciousness across industries about the importance of Big Data and analytics. From banking to telecom operators, there is almost a growing obsession with the benefits of knowing more about the customer, his or her behavior, and to predict how and when to create a sales opportunity. At the same time, there is a doubt around where all those data will come from. The company’s app? The sales support team? Clicks on Youtube ads?
This doubt is maybe about to be buried. CB Insights has  published a set of graphs highlighting how media is tracking technological trends. All of them are interesting, but I would like to focus on the graph tracking the trend evolution of Big Data vs. IoT. They are converging at a rapid pace. Specially the term called “industrial Internet of Things” (or IIoT) coupled with sensors is quickly gaining steam.

For CEOS, R&D managers and commercial managers of technology companies and consultancies, this has important consequences:

  1. The real and the virtual world are becoming more interconnected, with information coming from both sides and filling the gaps of each other. At some point in the near future what Google or Facebook tells you from a customer’s web or Android history  won’t be enough. It will be incomplete. Sensors will be everywhere, and iBeacons / BLE installed in shops will tell you how, where and when your product is selling. The analysis of data from the real and the virtual world will merciless show how  your marketing budget has performed in real time. A Norwegian startup, Unacast, is achieving relevance on this field and has recently secured 50 mUSD in new funding.  On the  B2B side, the graphs show that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is gaining awareness and importance on an daily basis. industrial-IoT
  2. Expertise and product range integrating BD & IoT will become an increasingly valid commercial argument when facing a potential customer. Argumentation skills on the convergence of  both concepts can define the impression the potential customer (that has read media talking about both increasingly often)  gets of your sales people as trusted advisors.

This evolution of the terms Big Data and IoT and their significance for the informed prospect customer forces important decisions for top leaders and decision makers.

  • Which should be your new product and services portfolio concerning these two technologies and which position should your company pursue? Based on which assets, skills and/ or resources?
  • Which of those assets, skills and resources should you develop internally  to help the convergence of both ?
  • Which company may you buy in order to quickly incorporate the necessary factors missing in your strategy?
  • Which company should you instead partner with to develop a sound portfolio and how will you design the governance of the partnership to last?

I have helped my own customers with this kind of questions before. I do realize that the effort of mobilizing an organization towards a new set of products and services craves courage.  However, it is difficult to ignore that there are newly matured technologies  that can transform how established companies manufacture, sell and deliver products and services. The convergence of Big Data and IoT shouldn’t be ignored by a responsible management trying to maximize shareholder value in the long run.