Incorporation of IoT functionality into manufactured goods is becoming increasingly popular but, says Forrester, most manufacturers are failing to fully exploit the potential of the data they gather from their connected products.
Forrester was commissioned by Xively, the IoT platform division of LogMeIn, to survey manufacturers on their priorities and objectives for IoT-enabled connected products. Forrester surveyed 232 companies and says it found “Only about one-third of firms leveraging captured connected device data to provide insight to internal stakeholders and partners, personalise interactions with customers, or profile and segment customers.”
It adds: “This highlights a missed opportunity for leveraging valuable customer data, as most companies focus their time and resources on just connecting products and capturing data rather than creating actionable insights from the captured data.
“Additional future IoT-enabled connected product functions will expand connected product capabilities to enable communication with other products; integrate data with partners; and allow existing business enablement solutions to expand engagement opportunities with partners and customers.”
However, Forrester found the idea of just collecting the data and letting it sit dormant was starting to change. Device and data security emerged as the biggest barrier to extracting increased value from IoT, but given those issues, Forrester said: “As companies consider additional expansion of their IoT capabilities, their focus turns toward expanding and improving the user-centric features of their connected products. Specifically, 52 percent of surveyed manufacturing firms are planning to implement predictive analytics capabilities to identify future customer engagements. As well, 42 percent plan to capture product operational analytics to inform their corporate IoT strategy in the next one to two years.”
Standards becoming important
Forrester found standards rapidly emerging as a key issue for manufacturers looking to IoT enable their products. “There are no universal IoT protocols, software interfaces, data formats, or interoperability standards. The result is that manufacturers that have already deployed IoT-enabled connected products recognise the difficulty with developing a set of common standards to facilitate integration for all types of IoT connected products,” Forrester said.
In comparison, “Firms that are planning to deploy connected devices are more focused on identifying standards to facilitate connected product integration.