The Smart Systems platform market opportunity presents multiple challenges for diverse participants. From core technology innovation, to business models, to ecosystem development and on and on. This market opportunity represents a very complex set of inter-related elements. Designing a successful “platform” business involves optimizing all of these elements. Key success requirements include:
Smart System Platforms Requires A Distinct Strategy: This platform opportunity requires a distinct strategy; not a slight “course correction” or variance on existing developments. With the Smart Systems platform market still in an emergent state, players, particularly IT and telecom players, need to act now, act distinctly and deliberately.
IoT and Smart Systems Platforms Require New Innovations: Its very hard to foster technology innovation and create new businesses at the same time. Focusing on new values – such as employing new data and information architecture, higher performance communications infrastructure, new app and developer community software tools or new user experiences are all examples of innovation that will help the market develop faster – not just another gateway box pretending to be a new core innovation or representative of a new strategy.
Smart Systems and Services Platforms Require “Catalytic” Alliances: Focus on the ecosystem, not simply on technologies or products. The slow evolution of the IoT market has largely been because it is complex and requires several players to perform different roles within it. There are many categories of partners to work with, but determining which potential partners will be key to success.
Developers of IoT and Smart Systems platform businesses face a two-fold challenge: to address the many technical issues across systems and service delivery chains and to ensure the whole solution functions properly and continuously. This is not something any single player can do alone – partnerships and collaboration are necessary ingredients for success.
Because the IoT opportunity has evolved slowly and unevenly, the scale, scope and sophistication of today’s IoT solutions players has not progressed very fast or very far. To the casual observer, there doesn’t really appear to be significant players in the space that can systematically address all of these challenges. The rising pace of acquisitions in this arena is testament to the need to scale these businesses.