Please find below the latest interview I did with the TM Forum in preparation of the IoT event in Amsterdam in October.

Nicolas Windpassinger, Global Partner Program Vice President, Schneider Electric, will talk about what it takes to develop trust in digital ecosystems at TM Forum’s Monetizing IoE InFocus in Amsterdam in October. Here he discusses some of the false beliefs preventing firms from entering the market and innovating, and why it is critical that companies engage in the new digital era.

He is offering Inform readers a free copy of his book Digitize or Die; visit his site to register.

 False belief #1: You need to be first to succeed in any IoT-related business

There is a common belief, true even for IoT, that the first in a market are always the winners. And yet, back in 1993, Peter N. Golder and Gerard J. Tellis highlighted in their research that market pioneers are de facto market leaders upon entry, but that this leadership does not appear to last very long – 12 years on average before being leapfrogged by later entrants:

“Being first in a new market may not confer automatic long-term rewards. An alternative strategy worth considering may be to let other firms pioneer and explore markets and then enter after learning more about the structure and dynamics of the market.

“Indeed, early leaders who entered an average of 13 years after the pioneer are more likely than pioneers to lead the market today”.

Bill Gross, CEO, IdeaLab, carried out research in 2015 trying to pinpoint what made startups successful, and looked at five essential elements: ideas, team, business models, funding and finally timing. Timing was, by 42 percent, the number one success factor across more than 200 companies. This should be no different for the IoT market. Continuous innovation is what enables pioneers to defend their market share against new entrants.

False belief #2: You need to be a digital startup to succeed in IoT

There’s also the belief that startups have all the cards in their hands to beat the well-established analog companies. In fact, analog companies have great weapons to fight back with, and even lead the digital transformation, especially if they leverage their considerable resources such as:

  • investment capital;
  • production capabilities;
  • strong brands;
  • strong channels such as well-trained system integrators and best-in-class wholesalers;
  • in-depth relationships with global accounts;
  • sales force on the ground;
  • influence power such as standardization, market price, etc.

When you add those two elements – time and assets – it’s not too late for incumbents and analog companies to adapt. They have what is needed to lead and beat competition, leveraging and adapting to the new rules of the digital analog marketing game. Although it is not too late, IoT is at its inflection point and the window of opportunity to take advantage of the digital revolution is rapidly closing.

Inflection point?

IoT technologies are evolving fast, but have not yet established their ‘rules of the game’. What happened to digital cameras in the 1990s and to the internet at the beginning of 2000, is happening to the IoT right now.

It’s an exciting and important time because there’s a unique opportunity to change and adapt the game rules to suit needs and preferences, and in so doing, outperform competitors. If companies are not already planning to take part in this new world, they might be losing the opportunity to lead the pack.

Be a part of the Internet of Everything discussion on the TM Forum Communities site.