Smart connected products require a well-founded vision and approach

More and more smart connected products pop up around us and more technology is available on the market to make smart internet-of-things (IoT) solutions. Many companies that build physical products wonder whether and when they should take steps.

Hip or hype? Not investing in smart connected products may be risky, because you risk missing out on business, but making the wrong investments is too. Companies are confronted with many challenges like e.g. formulating a well-considered vision on smart connected products or creating a business case for a smart connected solution.

What are the opportunities and pitfalls? What are the main challenges? And how should you handle this? Sirris identified the ten most important challenges for product builders who want to make the move towards smart connected products and joined these in a guide for companies. The first two challenges will be discussed in this blog. The full description (and the remaining eight challenges) can be found in the guide.


Challenge 1: Formulate a vision on smart connected products

Claiming that technological innovation of products must be based on a clear and substantiated vision is indeed 'stating the obvious'. Should smart connected products become the mantra of every product builder?

Maybe not, but companies need to ask themselves in time what it can do for them and there are at least three reasons to get started with it: new users, new competitors and new solutions.

Challenge 2: Create a business case around your smart connected solution

Whether or not to invest in innovation with smart connected technology must be a well-considered decision. It doesn’t matter if you are the developer, salesperson or manager who encourages the idea, ultimately the management needs to be convinced. A detailed business case includes the necessary elements to support go/no-go decisions. Its content evolves over time as new insights emerge that concretise and quantify the idea.

The most essential elements are: 'what will we gain?' and 'what will it cost?' Or if we look a bit further: 'what is the (strategic) value for the company?' and 'what do we need to achieve it?' These are precisely the questions the guide will discuss in more detail.

When it comes to connected products, technology and business opportunities are evolving rapidly. In order to successfully respond to these evolutions, you need to define your own strategy and set up a good business case. In this process Sirris supports companies as innovation partners, with independent advice and guidance.
In the Wat Slim project, Sirris has helped more than 50 companies to explore the potential of smart connected products for their business. The insights built up in this project were joined in a guide. The guide provides an overview of the 10 most important challenges for product builders who want to make the move to smart connected products.

Want to find out more? Contact us.


This blog has been written with the support of VLAIO.