Planning Internet of Things (IoT) Strategies

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a focus among many businesses and is now associated with billions of devices. The IoT phenomenon is all about digitizing as many processes in the physical world as possible so that the data can be documented, analyzed, and shared online. Internet researcher Gartner projects IoT will be at least a $300 billion industry by 2020. 

What IoT Can Do

There are many revenue-generating opportunities for IoT content creators and firms that sell proprietary data. Connectivity and sensors are the foundation of this emerging technology that potentially involves all industries.

Cloud storage is another component for businesses that collect vast amounts of data and don’t want to invest in their own servers and all the maintenance and security costs that go with it. Aside from information processing, other stages of IoT data processing include analytics and machine learning. 

Steps for IoT Development

The following three steps for creating an IoT roadmap can be taken all at once or in a sequence:

  1. Envision and document an IoT plan.
  2. Test ideas with partners, prototypes, and minimally viable products. 
  3. Make a list of technical requirements that will enable success.

Strategy Development 

IoT strategy begins with owners and managers analyzing their industry and competitors, with the ability to spot megatrends. The key to this analysis is to focus on SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Here are the types of research to conduct to help get a broad view of how a business fits into its industry:

  • Value-chain analysis
  • Profit-pool analysis
  • Partner, competitor, and vendor analysis
  • Customer analysis

By tracking customer needs that aren’t yet met in the market, it’s possible to learn how to fill market holes and create new customers by introducing solutions that no competitor can deliver. Developing customer personas is helpful in planning strategies for analyzing market segments. 

Decision-makers must be conscious of as much relevant data as possible to help achieve success. Some businesses don’t worry about ROI in the beginning and simply experiment with IoT. Then they share results with other team members, using a flywheel model of a business system or writing a business plan. Eventually, ROI needs to be a factor in how deeply a company pursues management of big data. 

Paving a Path to IoT Success

  • Send out press releases about new product developments.
  • Create a document for FAQs with answers.
  • Write a manual that directs others on how to use the product.
  • Construct a project charter (outline/overview).

Selecting the Right Technology

The final step toward developing a productive IoT strategy is to decide on technical capabilities that will lead to success. The requirements can take on many forms, from user stories to architecture specifications. The most appropriate technology will provide efficiency in documenting data and events. The more analytics it can generate, the more powerful the program. Here are examples of valuable data that can be collected:

  • Customer insights
  • Recommendations
  • Transmitted data amount and performance 
  • Various costs affecting business

People entering the IoT space need to consider how complex the logic, math, and algorithms will be. A question to answer is: will the platform be fixed or will it need to be updated?


The IoT involves almost every business, so owners and managers need to begin developing data collection strategies. An effective way to advance and profit with IoT plans is to run market tests and ultimately base the data collection on available or desired technology. 


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