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How to Conquer Fear of "Things" in "Internet of Things"
Start by addressing misconceptions about what it is and what it can—and cannot—do.
Focus on Consumer Needs
Be Open and Inclusive
For example, during hurricane season, retailers can correlate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with point-of-sale transactions and foot traffic captured by sensors and mapped to the placement of goods on shelves. This can provide valuable insight—by store, by region and by hurricane category level—into the types of products and supplies consumers buy in preparation for a storm. Stores have more information to optimize their supply chains and operations to meet consumer demands, and consumers have more ready access to the supplies they need.
People also want "simplexity" from IoT devices and services—a great user experience that is both seamless and simple, even though each thing has nuances that can create great complexity when aggregated with other things. Connected things need to deliver convenience—which, when delivered, will help reduce fear around what this technology means for businesses and consumers.
Companies should also focus on solving common user problems that impact everyday life, such as how an open garage door can notify a user, after a specified period of time, to close it. Or, how the IoT can be used so owners have the ability to run quick diagnostics on their vehicles, receive automatic alerts and take action when thresholds are reached—for instance, fuel levels, tire pressure and battery condition. Companies that focus on consumer needs in this manner will see any doubts or misconceptions cast over IoT devices increasingly disappear.
Ultimately, businesses can shift away from the IoT's fear factor by focusing on the real value of the Internet of Things—particularly data monetization and applications that offer consumers new levels of convenience. Like George Addair once said, "Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear." The same mentality should be applied to deploying IoT technology.
Bimalendu Sinha is big-data practice lead at Ness Digital Engineering, where he is heavily involved in the software engineering services company's efforts to build service offerings that help companies transform in their digital journey. He has more than 20 years in the hi-tech industry and is a graduate of Pune University, where he received his engineering degree in computer engineering.
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