Why Connected Products will Soon be the Norm

August 9, 2015

The Internet of Things (IoT) is real, delivering value, and transforming industries. It’s here to stay… and connected products from manufacturers are at the heart of it. What’s driving the interest and momentum? Clearly, the coolness of “connected homes” and the fitness benefits of “wearables” are sparking some of the interest. But what other macro trends and changes in consumer and customer behaviors are accelerating the demand for connected products?

  • Mobile Apps – There’s an app for everything. Need a cab? Grab a taxi with Uber on your smart phone. Want to play some music in the kitchen? Bring up your Sonos app. We are becoming accustomed to interacting with things via our phones and we can anticipate that our customers will demand apps with their products moving forward.
  • Early “Connected Products” – We’ve all heard of or already own connected products. Many TVs, thermostats and fitness bands are connected. My Music player is in the cloud.  So we can expect momentum and the desire for connected products to grow the more commonplace they become.
  • “Use” vs. “Ownership” model – Who needs to buy anything? Need a ride? Just use Zip Car. Music? Sign up for a streaming music service. Want an alarm system? The camera, sensors and system are free… just pay the monthly subscription. We can expect to hear: “What do mean I have to purchase this product? I just want it use it for a while.”

The point is this… people are going to expect what they buy to be connected and they’re growing increasingly familiar with connected products and products-as-a-service. They love their mobile apps. Companies who can deliver a connected product experience to their customers have an opportunity to differentiate themselves and gain even greater market share with people who are hungry for and expect these connected products.

This opportunity to benefit from the IoT also pertains to commercial and industrial products. Tractors, windmills, trucks, buildings, projectors, generators, engines- you name it! They’ll soon be connected, come with a mobile app, and be available as a service. The expectations from the consumer world will spill over into the Industrial world. It’s already happening. Just ask our customers… Philips, EMC, Diebold, NCR, Medtronic, Tyco, Hitachi, Agilent and Stryker.

Learn about how your company can get started and gain competitive advantage through an IoT strategy with this co-authored Harvard Business Leader report by Michael E. Porter, Professor at Harvard Business School and PTC’s CEO, Jim Heppelmann.