Sumair Dutta of The Service Council explores the findings of their latest IoT research…
Of the near 70% of organisations in The Service Council’s (TSC) community with connected service (or M2M or IoT) projects in place in a 2015 research survey, 53% indicated that they have had remote access to machine data for over 5 years. In return, they have built improved responsive and predictive service delivery processes.
As organisations get more mature around the use of IoT-enabled data in service, they are beginning to identify the opportunity present in leveraging data across other areas of the organisation. This sharing strategy follows a maturity path, wherein engineering and product design are the initial beneficiaries before sales, marketing and other groups can access this data for revenue programs.
Inside the Enterprise
Organisations continue to be extremely silo’d and the use of IoT-generated data is no exception. Largely, service data is typically used by service and operations in an organised manner. Use outside of service tends to be mostly sporadic or ad hoc with a few exceptions. This will change, and the bullets below highlight areas of opportunity currently untapped by most service organisations.
- Improve quality of products tied to failure and performance information (currently done by 68% of respondents)
- Work with service teams to improve serviceability of products (currently done by 58% of respondents
Product Design and Systems Support
- Track software versions and make necessary updates (currently done by 40% of respondents)
- Add/remove product features tied to usage (currently done by 19% of respondents)
Operations and Business Planning
- Predict future business trends and plan resource needs (currently done by 36% respondents)
- Work with service teams to manage performance-based contracts (currently done by 40% of respondents)
- Manage and administer pay-per-use
HR and Training
- Improve and modify training based on service event occurrence (currently done by 36% of respondents)
- Deliver real-time training during a service event (currently done by 23% of respondents)
Sales and Marketing
- Improve account management with better access into customer usage of product and features (currently done minimally)
- Personalise messaging and content tied to customer preferences (done minimally)
- Recognise need for and build new services (currently done by 28% of respondents)
- Manage inventory replenishment levels (currently done minimally)
- Evaluate partner performance and isolate quality issues to supply chain link (currently done minimally)
Other teams such as compliance and finance cam also tap into these data streams for better results, but as with most maturity models, this takes time. Progress requires interest on behalf of non-service groups to tap into this data; the ability to easily acquire and analyse data; and a set of processes to use this data to enact business change. These changes aren’t usually part of the short-term goals provided to these teams. However, as organisations begin to take an integrated look at customer journeys and customer success, there will be better alignment of functional activities with broader organisation and customer objectives.
Delivering value is extremely important, but so is selling the sizzle…
In increasing the reach of IoT investments, organisations still run into a large group of customers who are unwilling to connect. Security and regulatory concerns lend to this lack of commitment from customers but it also comes down to a fear of connectivity and the lack of understanding in the true value.
Most of the financial value discussed with remote monitoring accrues to the servicing organisation. While there are uptime and efficiency benefits for the end customer, these customers either have to pay more for it, or are unaware of the benefit provided. In some instances, customers believe they are receiving less value, as the service teams are less visible. Therefore, delivering value is extremely important, but so is selling the sizzle.
To this end, it is important to consistently provide customers with visibility into:
- IoT infrastructure investments made to support their businesses
- Reporting tied to issue, failure and cost avoidance
- Data on asset usage and performance
- Strategies to maximize customer outcomes
More than 60% of those in TSC’s research with IoT deployments in place already provide operating and performance information to customers. Traditionally this data has been in the form of emailed reports featuring historical performance. Now, there is a greater emphasis on providing diagnostic information and transaction logs in a more real-time manner. In addition, organisations are also providing their customers with access to benchmarking data tied to the performance of other like assets or other like customers.
With the aid of this information, customers see additional value in connecting via IoT, on top of the improved service delivered by their servicing partner. It also opens up the door for co-innovation opportunities where the customer and the servicing organisation can create new relationship and value opportunities that benefit both. It is also worth noting that these data reports generate additional revenue. Fifty-five percent (55%) of TSC’s community with IoT deployments in place indicate that their customers currently pay for reporting and additional data that is provided by the servicing organisation.
As service organisations look to transition to become solution partners, they can greatly improve their positioning with customers with the aid of IoT-enabled performance data. However, there has to be a greater emphasis on collaboration and innovation around the use of IoT data to truly drive sustained enterprise and customer value.
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