11 Wrz

Internet of Things – introduction


Learn the basic values come from IoT!

1. Value shift from hardware to software

In the future, products are less and less a component of physical components, but are increasingly composed of a complex combination of sensors, control units, user interfaces (human-machine interfaces) and software. The increase in customer requirements as well as the multitude of legal regulations ensures that software plays an increasingly important role in product development.

Automotive industry example: A mid-range passenger car now has about 70-100 ECUs that collect and process almost all data available in the vehicle. The example Tesla: The vehicles are networked and send the data to the headquarters of the Californian car maker to monitor the usage data. In addition, „over the air” may e.g. new software versions can be imported into the vehicle. Tesla manufactures, produces and markets cars, but does not consider itself a classic automobile manufacturer. The fact that the headquarters of Tesla is not in Detroit, but in the Silicon Valley also underlines this.


2. Value shift from product to service

The trend is moving away from product sales to the solution provider. Finally, the customer does not want to buy a drill, he wants to drill a hole [2]. This perception is not really new in itself, but can be implemented more easily and better with the new technological possibilities.

Example Consumer goods industry: Philips now offers use-based models, where the customer no longer buys the lamps, but buys the power that the rooms are exposed to the needs. This model has the result that the customer no longer has an initial cost for the purchase of the product and only costs if the light is actually used . The underlying concept is called Product-as-a-Service.

This absolutely drastic change, which goes over the entire value chain from product development through marketing and sales to after sales service, naturally has a lasting impact on the companies. Future successful companies not only need the necessary skills for the design and implementation of these innovative solutions, but also have to provide the necessary IT infrastructure and IT security in the company.

Finally, take a look at the advantages from an entrepreneurial point of view that the technology of the Internet of Things offers:

Strengthening customer contact: In the Stone Age of the automobile industry at the beginning of the 20th century, Henry Ford did not know who bought the car and how it was used. James Heppelmann, PTC’s character CEO, has put it in a nutshell: „Vendors have no longer been in the dark.”.

Tesla and co. Know now very well, with whom the vehicle is in use, how it is used and which data is determined in the vehicle. The relationship with the customer thus becomes narrower and more demand-oriented.

Better understanding of product use: Knowing the product’s usage details allows the company to better understand its customers and its product usage behavior. Companies can incorporate this knowledge into the development of future product generations.

Optimization of process times: By knowing which spare part is defective, the service technician can already take the relevant parts for the application. The resulting benefit is that the company can dramatically reduce its processing time in repair and maintenance.

Not only companies, but also customers have significant advantages through the use of IoT:

More service performance: The service technician always knows how the product works and can make better and, if necessary, faster decisions. As a rule, the customer has significantly lower downtime of the product, even in case of repeated failure.
Improved products and services: By knowing how and in which context the products are used, companies can make sure that they offer better products as long as this knowledge flows back into the product development process.