Why Product Teams Should Care about the Internet of Things

Jim Semick
Co-founder, Board Member at ProductPlan

Internet of Things for Product Teams

No doubt you’ve heard of the coming Internet of Things (IoT) and how it’s going to change our lives through billions of Internet-connected devices and sensors.

But is IoT mostly hype? And if it’s not, how can product teams prepare?

Preparing for the Internet of Things

Last month I moderated a panel discussion for the MIT Enterprise Forum to discuss IoT opportunities and challenges. Our panel included device, data, and security experts as well as representatives from companies launching IoT products.

To be honest, before I began preparing for the event I wasn’t convinced about the impact of IoT. I thought that products like Nest, Dropcam, and pill bottles that remind us to take our medicine are cool, but wondered if a world of Internet-connected washing machines was really all that special.

But after talking with the experts and moderating the event, I have come to realize that over the next few years there is a huge opportunity for companies providing hardware, software, data, and services for customers in almost every industry.

My takeaway is this: product managers and product teams need to be prepared to capitalize on IoT – it will eventually deserve a place on your product roadmap. Product teams will want to consider these areas for the future:

Whether you are in the consumer, automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, or another industry, IoT will affect your products and services. Teams will need to have a strategy to innovate and rework legacy products to fit into this new world.

Image credit: Nest Labs