The Internet of Things (IoT) is already here and suppliers should already be promoting related solutions and benefits to customers.
Alistair Johnson, SMB product marketing manager at security vendor AVG, said its research suggests that many if not most businesses might have little clue what IoT really is, even though many are already connecting up a range of devices.
"Most people put the IoT at one to three years from now, or three to five years. But the reality is that the more advanced cars are already reading text messages. And there are already egg minders that tell you when your eggs are going off – whether you need that or not," he told delegates at ITEuropa's managed services and hosting summit this week.
A range of "things" can be and already is being connected to the internet – whether individuals or businesses are aware of the phenomenon or not. And customers don't need to really understand the concept of IoT to benefit from it, Johnson maintained.
"Do they need to understand it? No, I don't think so," he said. "They say in summary that IoT devices are necessary for the fluid role [their] business plays in everyday life; it would make a lot of things simpler to control."
Johnson said an AVG survey of 2,000 SMBs globally, including 500 in the UK, reflected that businesses can in fact understand how greater connectivity across a range of devices can help them. And many have already started down the path, integrating devices with their office network, including but not limited to smartphones.
IoT is not necessarily about putting sensors in everything, or internet-connected fridges, he explained.
This is something that partners and purveyors of services can develop and build on. Work out how an IoT application can help a particular customer, and then take that solution to the customer and explain the benefits, such as productivity.
Maybe a business doesn't need more data, but could make better use of the data it already collects or accesses. That's how you sell the IoT, Johnson suggested.
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