Asia Pacific

B2B, B2C, B2B2C: Where does one find the greatest value for IoT?

With the majority of news coverage about IoT focused on consumer devices and application, it comes as no surprise that one of the misconceptions about IoT is that it is mainly about consumer applications.

Nest, Fitbit, Uber, GrabCar, or even Go-Jek: these are the most commonly quoted IoT success stories that only scratches the surface of how consumer IoT can benefit our lives.

But does consumer IoT hold the most value? Or is there even greater opportunity for IoT in the enterprise space?

The question of who pays 

The enterprise IoT market (Industrial, large scale applications) is currently the biggest market in terms of revenue. According to General Electric, a 1% increase in fuel efficiency translates to $30 billion in savings for the aviation industry.

IoT technologies that can improve manufacturing, supply chain systems, city infrastructure, power generation and more offers a strong business case for it to be funded.

It is also the focus of our events in the region, helping to connect solution providers to enterprise end users whose businesses can benefit from these technologies.

However for B2B, sales cycles can be long (especially in Asia), smart city implementation can be hampered by changing political situations, and solutions are more often catered for large organizations (although 96% of businesses in Southeast Asia belong to the SME category).

The case for consumer IoT 

Go-Jek was identified as one of Indonesia’s shining examples of IoT and the business was borne out of consumer need and grew quickly because of high market demand.

With consumer IoT, use cases can be created and scaled at incredible speeds, reaching mass adoption much faster than B2B. (M-PESA would not have expanded as fast if it didn’t focus on the consumer model. Video Interview below.)

The technology behind basic IoT projects does not require large government or enterprise budgets to fund. Just like with mobile apps, innovators can take existing technology and customise it for various customer needs and niches.

As these consumer IoT projects may often be led by the start-up community, many large corporations now have a separate arm focusing on developments in these areas and hosting bootcamps and incubator programs. (Intel Capital, Cisco Investments and closer to home- Singtel’s Innov8)

The hybrid model: B2B2C, improving the end-user customer experience

The convergence of IoT, digital, mobile and cloud technologies has led to new expectations and behaviors of traditional B2B customer interactions. B2B businesses are increasingly focused on building ongoing relationships with buyers and as a result, also thinking about how to help their clients deliver results to their customers: the B2B2C model.

From Healthcare to mobile banking to Smart cities, B2B2C means not talking about the technology solution first; but assessing the real-world impact of that solution. i.e. If I implement wearable technology for my hospital’s patients, does this translate to better outcomes for my patient’s health and reduce their wait time for a diagnosis?

The final hurdle

Be it B2B, B2C or B2B2C, the main challenge facing IoT adoption is in finding successful use case studies that can be replicated by the industry.

Moving the IoT industry from early adopters to mass market will depend on applications of the technology, rather than the technology itself.

At Asia IoT Business Platform, we focus on bringing together the best-in-case examples of enterprise IoT, and localising the IoT discussion for the needs of the country. To find out more about our event, please feel free to browse our website or visit Yue Yeng on LinkedIn for more informative contetn on IoT.

Sue Yuin Ho

Nov 24, 2015


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