3 ways the IoT impacts business

A lot has been said and written about the IoT and business models, and I’ve already put in my two cents. Here I’m taking a look at still more ways the IoT is having an effect on business.

1. Digitally charged products

Take a well-known, firmly established product, enhance it with IoT technology – sensors, processors, connectivity, or the like – and invest it with a whole new meaning. My favorite example of a digitally charged product is comfy, a system that takes an LED light and turns it into an alarm system within seconds.

Comfy is yet another example of a disruptive product. It’s unlike any other security system: it doesn’t address the high-end market, it doesn’t include a camera, but it provides a retrofit security solution that is very easy to install.

Although it’s difficult to gauge the market for it, we believe that comfy (which was developed in the Bosch IoT Lab, by the way) opens up huge opportunities for innovative business models.

Watch this video to learn more about comfy!


High-resolution management (HRM)

The digital world makes it possible for you to measure each and every detail that could be relevant for your business. In e-commerce, it’s normal to analyze who looks at which products for how long, who actually goes on to buy those products, what those people buy next, and so on. The IoT has the power to bring the same capabilities to the physical world. Elgar Fleisch, chair of the Bosch IoT Lab, calls this “high-resolution management.”

High Resolution Management

It can be leveraged for business in two main ways:

2. Apply HRM to operations

Applying HRM to operations usually provides an opportunity to increase efficiency, quality, and reliability.

Take a car leasing company, for example. The mileage of its fleet is important, since that’s used in the valuation of the cars. That’s why most leasing contracts include a maximum amount of mileage per year. Until now, the leasing company could obtain data on this focal KPI only on very rare occasions, such as when a car was taken to a garage for service. The company can bring the IoT into its business by having the cars send their actual mileage to a server after each ride, providing a new way to monitor this KPI and take action if necessary. At the same time, such a system could also alert the leasing company to technical problems with a specific car, enabling new service offerings for their customers.

3. Providing HRM capabilities

Applying HRM requires many capabilities – connected sensors, data transmission, backend systems, analytics, and the ability to leverage the technology within a business case. In most cases, those capabilities are not available in-house, or at least, not all of them. So providing others with those capabilities is a good IoT business as well.

The car leasing example mentioned above is taken from the world of Bosch. Telematics are just one solution that Bosch offers leasing companies. The offering includes hardware devices to be installed in the cars, embedded software that accesses the vehicle information, plus all the backend infrastructure based on the Bosch IoT Suite.

Sound trivial? In my experience, it’s helpful to have some structure when discussing IoT opportunities. What’s been your experience? Do you agree with the three categories I explained above?


About the author

Markus Weinberger

Markus Weinberger

I am Professor for “Internet of Things” at Aalen University. Before I have been Director of the Bosch Internet of Things & Services Lab at the University of St. Gallen. During the almost 15 years at Bosch I gained experience in such different fields as driver assistance systems, internal auditing and engineering services. I had the opportunity to work in areas like ergonomics, calibration of electronic control units, project management, process management and Enterprise 2.0. I hold a Ph.D. in Engineering from the Technische Universität München. I studied mechanical engineering in Munich and Trondheim, Norway.