We are at the inception of one of the most opportunistic business and technology events since the dawn of the industrial revolution. Never before have we seen the opportunity to generate such an impact on top-line revenue growth.

Money Tree

We’ve seen technology have major impacts in the past. In the early days of the Internet the benefits were primarily focused on information sharing and lowering operational costs. Internet 2.0 drove us into the era of mainstream ecommerce thus helping with some top line revenue impact. But, while there were many new companies and product lines created, most companies have benefited from bottom line operational savings.

With Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), almost any product now has the ability to re-invent itself and create new revenue streams. There’s a lot on the line. The Internet of Things represents the most transformational business opportunity since the Internet.

Depending on which technology analyst you ask, the size of the estimated opportunity is mind-boggling:

  • Gartner: $1.7 trillion by 2020
  • IDC: $1.7 trillion in 2020
  • McKinsey: $17 - $33 trillion by 2025
  • Cisco: $19 trillion within a few years

How will this play out? The combination of low cost technologies like sensors and actuators combined with elasticity of the cloud and the ubiquitous mobility of networking is enabling new products, new offerings and new services. From the Fitbit, to the smart home, to the smart light bulb, the opportunities are endless.

The opportunity is not limited to the startup. The exciting thing is that suddenly, traditional businesses with existing products can also benefit.

With these technologies, we can take an existing product that has been around for potentially decades, add instrumentation and create a new revenue stream. These sensors gather data and use the Internet to transmit and store that information. Companies can use this data to learn more about their customers and the way products get used in the real world. This leads to the development of even better products.

But to really generate new revenue from IoT, companies need to transform the information from smart, connected products into services. This may mean offering the entire product as-a-service or using the product’s data stream to engage customers with additional services.

Today there are only a handful of companies that are generating new revenue from these new IoT enabled services. CapGemini research discovered that “70% of organizations do not generate service revenues from their IoT solutions.

We are only at the beginning of this 4th revolution, and just scratched the surface for generating new revenue for our businesses. Will you help lead the pack?