In this video, Bruce Sinclair provides a broad overview of the technical architecture of an Internet of Things product and how the parts work together to create value.
- [Instructor] The Internet of Things is a complex technology that's never too far away from business. Before starting the business discussion it's important to have an overview of how the technology works. First, the definition. The Internet of Things is simply an extension of the current internet further into our physical world, into things. Although the technology is an evolution, the business is a revolution. So when you hear all the hype, it's real. The Internet of Things is segmented by B2C, or business to consumer IoT, and B2B, or business to business IoT.
B2C IoT is consumer IoT, where B2B IoT is commercial, industrial, and infrastructure IoT. In the Internet of Things there's three kinds of products, we have our smart products, connected products, and our IoT products. In this course I'm going to be talking about the IoT product. We've had smart products for over half a century, simply just having an embedded device doesn't create that much value. Connected products have been around a long time too, however it's debatable how much value is associated with just being able to connect your, let's say dryer, to your smart phone.
With the Internet of Things we can apply a lot more value to our products. The traditional engineering view has been to look at IoT similar to a networking stack. Going from the media layer, to the networking layer, to the application layer. However, this focuses more on the plumbing, that's not where the value is. Historically if you were a designer or a system integrator it gets a little bit closer. There's the front end, that's for the users, there's a back end for the actual customers, and in between there's all the enabling technology.
However I think there's a better view, looking at it from a value perspective. The business view segments IoT into four parts: the software-defined product, the hardware-defined product, the network fabric, and the external systems. The software defined product or digital twin is where all the value is generated. It is a virtual representation of the physical product. The hardware-defined product gathers internal data, it uses sensors and embedded systems to package the data to be sent to the software-defined product.
The network fabric ties together the hardware-defined product with the software-defined product and the external systems with the software-defined product. Finally, external systems provide data for IoT products. I'll be going into far more detail into each of these four components throughout the course. Designing an IoT product should start from the top down. Value determines the information required, which determines the data required, which in turn determines the tech required.
Starting with the tech is like the tail wagging the dog.
- Creating value with IoT
- Value modeling
- Operating products better
- Monetizing value with IoT
- Using IoT to become closer to the customer
- Product business model
- Increasing customer lifetime value