‘This is where we need to get to deliver scale’ – KPMG on co-creation in industrial IoT
Note, this interview, with Greg Corlis, managing director for emerging technologies and national IoT leader, at KPMG, is taken from a new Enterprise IoT Insights editorial report, called ‘Crossing the IT/OT divide – co-creation, co-configuration, and how to bring industrial IoT to scale’. Go here for the report.
Why is ‘co-creation’ so important to the development and sale of IoT solutions?
Greg Corlis: “If you truly want to accelerate development, co-creating products between industry specialists and the technology sector will be critical. Tech organizations are fantastic at developing new products and releasing them into the market but consulting with industry leaders is critical to make them relevant to the industry and to solve existing business challenges.”
Do tech providers understand the need to engage with domain experts?
Corlis: “Technology providers are typically pretty good at engaging domain experts and incorporating their insights into the product development lifecycle. In some cases there may be an air of arrogance on the side of tech providers, but they tend to listen openly to domain experts – but often try to go beyond solving the immediate business issue.”
Has this changed, or has this always been the way?
Corlis: “This has changed over time. Previously tech providers would produce solutions they felt would meet the business need, but often missed the mark. This resulted in expensive development cycles and lack of adoption within the industry. Over the last few years, tech providers have started to see the value of co-collaborating with industry experts to help ensure they meet the specific demands of industry leadership.”
Has the market gone beyond ‘proof-of-concept’ to ‘proof of value’?
Corlis: “Yes. Most industries have shifted their thinking to measuring and demonstrating value. There are still many companies that have not made the shift, but more and more are changing how they think and work with suppliers. Co-creation is not required to define value but it may be one of the components. Organizations need to evaluate the business problems they are trying to solve and determine how best to unlock the necessary value. In some cases this may mean partnering with a tech provider to assist with solving that business problem and delivering the necessary value.”
How well defined is the end-goal – the value – when conversations start?
Corlis: “Typically, it is not very well defined. They have a business problem they are trying to solve but do not have a clear direction on how to get to the end goal. Most of the time the value or ROI is not fully defined either. Collaborating with a consulting firm will help industry experts to define the path to value and develop the ROI models required.”
Is this collaboration required more with SMEs than with large corporations?
Corlis: “SMEs with relevant industry experience are the most desired providers of this collaboration. This often comes in the form of consultants. Consultants have the relevant experience and often work across multiple clients within the industry or in adjacent industries providing a broad perspective on the client issues and how best to resolve them. This collaboration is required for IoT to effectively gain scale and to be relevant to the industry business need.”
Is IoT getting any easier? Is solution-making simpler?
Corlis: “Yes, it is getting easier. But many organizations still struggle to integrate many different IoT solutions into a single aggregated platform. They are constantly approached by tech providers offering single point solutions that are not integrated or interoperable. Corporations are left to solve the problem themselves and acquire platforms that are designed to aggregate across IoT technologies. Once an appropriate platform is available, plugging in new IoT devices is relatively simple and only requires a small effort to integrate those products.”
Is ‘co-creation’ in fact a blocker to scale, even if it is important for mapping the early IoT landscape? Do we need to go beyond ‘co-creation’ – to off-the-shelf IoT, plus minor ‘co-configuration’ – for the market to scale?
Corlis: “This is where we need to get to with IoT to truly deliver market scale. Corporations should look at the business problem they are trying to solve and seek potential foundational platforms that are designed to meet those business objectives. Once those platforms are in place, enabling the next IoT use case should be close to a plug-and-play type solution with some customization, but not to the scale required by implementing point solutions.”
Check out the new Enterprise IoT Insights editorial report, called ‘Crossing the IT/OT divide – co-creation, co-configuration, and how to bring industrial IoT to scale’.