Connected products represent a radical change from ‘business as usual’ that has existed at manufacturing companies for well over a hundred years. As companies move beyond the mindset of connecting products just because they can, their focus is moving to sustainable connected product businesses and all that entails.
What does it mean to have a direct channel to consumers that is ‘always on’? What can you learn from the data that connected products can provide? What additional services, and products might your company provide and sell? How can you improve the user experience and brand relationship that begin once
a connected product is purchased and begins a prolonged lifecycle?
By providing always-on connectivity and the resulting user and usage data, IoT can serve as the impetus for consumer products companies to quickly pursue digital transformation for their business operations. As DataInformed noted, recent surveys by Forrester research and others found a majority of executives were focused on “delivering a superior experience for customers and creating new sources of customer value as important factors in determining an organization’s success as a digital business.” The research found that improving customer experiences is the top priority for the majority of organizations undertaking digital transformation in the next 12 months.
Helping manage business transformation is why we created the Arrayent A4™ Program, our framework of best practices proven by connecting, launching and managing over 70 consumer products from 17 brands across five continents. A4 is comprised of four steps: A1: ENVISION, A2: LAUNCH, A3: LEARN and A4: EVOLVE.
We start by helping our clients plan the transformation process with an Envision™ IoT Workshop that includes key stakeholders. It is aimed at helping everyone ‘envision’ what a line of connected products means to their organization, distribution chain, product groups and business strategy. We bring together our IoT experts with company executives and department heads in an effort to understand their goals, implications, impediments and the decisions necessary to create technical, organizational and business success for their business as it transforms into a connected products company.
In order to have successful digital transformation in a company, it is critical to have cross-functional participation in this process by executives and other company stakeholders. As CIO Magazine reported, IDC 2016 research supports this view, finding that: “70 percent of siloed digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail because of insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing or project management.”
IDC further predicted that by 2018, 40% of CIOs will advance initiatives by building organizational linkages with line of business (LOB) teams across IT organizations, empowering changes in thinking, culture, and practices. IDC also recognized the need for speed, experimentation, and feedback, which is a cornerstone of the A4 Program.
To learn more about the Arrayent A4 Program, download our eBook, which provides an understanding of how we pursue connected product development on behalf of top consumer brands and how it has contributed to their success.
You can read all of our predictions for 2017 here. Be sure you are subscribed to our blog, newsletter and social media feeds as we expect to chronicle many future developments for consumer IoT technologies throughout 2017.