This year marks my fourth CONNECTIONS conference and I always look forward to it as a chance to see how the IoT space has progressed in the past year.
To start, a lot of last year’s challenges have carried over to 2017, with consumer adoption and interoperability remaining major issues. But interestingly, while IoT leaders have spent the last few years asking ‘how do we do this?’ the discussion was clearly shifting towards “how can we do this better?” and “how can we make this profitable?”
Determining the best way to bundle, price and promote products is clearly going to be the biggest challenge facing IoT companies going forward. However, discussion around the business details was already well underway at the last conference.
The latest tech buzz surrounded predictive analysis. Many are working towards having devices stay one step ahead of their user, delivering the right information before it’s even asked for. For example, Amazon’s Alexa could ask you if you wanted your home set to vacation mode when you’re heading to the airport.
Another hot topic this year was how to measure customer success. Now that connected devices are getting into consumers’ hands and homes in meaningful numbers, the challenge has become quantifying whether these products are a positive presence.
Clearly, a big challenge remains in onboarding less technical users and making the process to get devices integrated and running as easy as possible. The companies that can figure out how to make networks of smart devices simple to set up and creating the right value for users quickly will see huge success.