Enterprises in Asia-Pacific are playing a pivotal role in realizing the potential of IoT. This year, the region is expected to become the global leader for IoT spending, accounting for almost 37% of worldwide spend.
But while deployments are spiraling, not all businesses are building in the systems and controls needed to generate revenue.
While, for many CEOs, there is no question that IoT is the backbone of digital transformation, CFOs are still grappling with how this investment can be monetized and made profitable.
If IoT deployments and devices are to follow a fast path to profit, the business model must be optimised by applying CFO thinking at three crucial levels – deployment, management and monetisation.
Cost control at the deployment stage
In a world of international operation and mobilization, only by entering the connected ecosystem will enterprises unlock the full potential of their IoT deployments. But costs at the deployment stage can build up quickly and in several areas.
The first is in the integration and implementation process. Enterprises need to verify that their IoT platform is compatible with their back-end system and that it can be easily integrated via API.
One of the common mistakes that enterprises make is to enable connectivity for their deployments through traditional mobile contracts with operators: risking protracted commercial negotiations, long lead times and high costs.
What’s required instead is a simple, low-cost offering per connected device and a virtualized core network that has been built from the ground up for IoT.
Autonomy over connectivity management
As the number of connected devices soars per deployment, CFOs must ensure that they have control over connectivity management.
Enterprises must have all the autonomy needed to manage and control their connected devices in real time. This should include the ability to provision and deprovision, manage, troubleshoot and change the parameters of their devices as and when required.
For enterprises managing thousands or even millions of devices, using their mobile operator as a gatekeeper is both inconvenient and expensive.
Enterprises should be able to take control even without specialist technical expertise.
So what should the CFO look for in the platform? Easy, intuitive web-based or API-based tools or for management of the connected fleet.
Either way, systems should be efficient enough to support bulk-management, and granular enough to allow them to control and manage each individual device.
Flexibility at the monetization level
When it comes to monetizing IoT deployments, enterprises must strive for new avenues to generate revenue.
Let’s take connected cars as an example.
There is a huge range of opportunities to monetize connected services – including GPS for route mapping and guidance (with different packages based on international travel), real time traffic information, automated roadside assistance, insurance, servicing and maintenance, and in-car entertainment.
As such, it’s vital that enterprises have flexibility from their IoT platform that they can apply to their own pricing models, as well as to change course, scale, add new services, and adapt existing ones accordingly.
CFOs must ensure the IoT platform comes built in with a flexible business model that allows enterprises to deploy their IoT services in the style best suited to their needs. This could include fully managed or self-managed models.
Pay-as-you-go, scale-as-you-grow platforms help minimize upfront costs and reduce time to ROI, while flexible pricing options accommodate an enterprise’s changing needs – from the number of connected devices and amount of data used, to usage quotas per device or groups of devices, selection of specific countries or networks, and more.
ROI should be considered at every stage
For enterprises in Asia to lead IoT development to its next level, it’s the responsibility of the C-suite to consider ROI at every stage of a deployment, and the responsibility of networks to facilitate this.
Only by integrating the connectivity as part of internal IT systems can enterprises address realistic pricing models, and acquire the autonomy and flexibility necessary to minimise costs while maximizing revenue.