The Internet of Things (IoT) is the great digital revolution that is expected to improve the way products and services are used every day, improving our life. It not only affects consumer products, but will also impact costs in organizations and companies such as authenticity, quality and safety checks thanks to the automation and simplification of manual tasks.
It’s been a few years now that people have been talking about it as the new mega trend able to transversally influence everything, comparing it to a real industrial revolution, the third, although in reality there has been a slowdown in its application and development.
The rise of connected objects around us – Cisco expects that by 2020 in the world each of us will have on average more than 6 – struggles to become reality. To better assess the deceleration of this trend, it is necessary to think about the two different contexts of application of IoT – the business and consumer ones -, characterized by very different prerogatives and visibility.
The first one is led by the slaughter of overheads, usually starting from the inefficiency of a process, and is marked by significant investments whose effects are not always visible to the final consumer. The second context is more related to the improvements of the user experience, the little and great needs of consumers. These include a broad spectrum of options that range, for example, from energy saving power supplies to devices that motivate the practice of sports, passing by the tracking of pets.
It’s not yet possible to notice great upheavals “on the shelf”, the offer is still tailored on (and requested by) a niche and the sales are still exclusively conducted online. The attitude of the big brands is perhaps protectionist and manifests itself in the protection of consolidated product lines, thereby slowing down the proposition of products “too” innovative.
In this scenario the investments could be gradual and modulated by a longer process of experimentation, with significant resonance effects in aspirations and consumption habits. To this we can add the push that the social media could have among consumers, representing a further thrust.
Let’s not forget that the great acceleration of the digital world only occurred when our presence in social networks has become pervasive in everyday life. In particular, the unchallenged rise of the mobile, announced by years and which promises have been dormant till now, only became real thanks to the dragging of social networks and the use of apps on mobiles.
Will 2015 be the right year for the rise of the Internet of Things? The conditions seem to be right.
Even in Italy the right conditions for its development are realized, having lost the reasons and justifications to not advance on this path. The market is ready to act, consumers are increasingly becoming more receptive and hungry for related news.
Brands that act now will be able to consolidate their positioning and the attachment to their consumer base in the upcoming years.