The Internet of Things, which falls under the Machine to Machine (M2M) market, offers innumerable business development opportunities. It’s something similar to what happened with the emergence of the Internet, or maybe even bigger. According to the Gartner research institute, it is estimated that this year, 8.4 billion things will be connected and in use around the world. This is an increase of 31% compared to data from 2016. To get an idea of just how mind-boggling the Internet of Things’ growth is, it is estimated that by 2020, the world will have 20 billion things connected.

In general, the M2M market for industries can be considered as mature. Segments such as automobile, energy, e-health and other services have already been successfully using the IoT for some time. The big change over the next few years will be the market for connected objects for the general public.

Valid is one of the companies that are integrating objects to the Internet. One of our most outstanding cases is with Audi. Together with Cubic Telecom, the technology was developed for Audi connect for models A3, A4, A5, Q2, Q5, Q7 and S4, launched in 13 countries around Europe. Audi connect offers uninterrupted connectivity for high-quality entertainment and information, as well as access to connectivity plans, including telematics, Wi-Fi hotspot services, personal apps and much more.

Creating and executing an IoT strategy is not an easy task for any organization. It’s even moreso with the challenge of responding to different needs, from all industrial sectors, with the abundance of existing objects. It’s all about complex projects, involving risks. It’s essential to have answers to the right questions, and to have strong industrial and commercial partnerships in place.

Understanding the potential

The IoT offers many opportunities and you need to prioritize them in line with your market’s capacity to understand them. A good practice is to start by evaluating the situation with a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). Be especially aware of your client’s perceptions. One of the primary reasons for the failure of an innovation is a lack of research with potential users of the product.

Selecting the right partners

Having providers of solutions with experience and credibility in your area helps to fill gaps in your strategy. Doing an analysis of the value chain together will offer a broad view of the entire segment you are working in. Scrap narrow views that only take your business into account.

Measuring results

Here, we are talking about the feasibility of the business. Common metrics don’t tend to show, for example, gains such as knowledge. Think of ways to measure success – in line with your company’s overall strategy.

Selling the idea within your company

To explain a great idea and get approval to ahead, you need a communications plan. How about creating an ad for the product? That will give you a clearer vision of the opportunities and advantages of the IoT. You could also create a press release, or a user’s manual. In other words, start bringing part of the idea to life. Another suggestion is to calculate and reduce the project’s risks. Test your IoT before you do anything else. You could use a prototype – a marginally feasible project – in partnership with other companies from the sector. The bestseller “The Lean Startup” suggests testing the invention with at least 100 potential users. Why? To confirm that there is a need.

What technical skills are required?

Former Amazon executive John Rossman shared his checklist for a successful implementation

The IoT is not the answer to everything. But a good strategy will ensure that the solution delivers value, and most likely, success.