April 10, 2012

The Next 20 Billion Nodes Survey Update: Users and Evaluators Showing Measured Confidence

As posted in CW Blog on 4.5.12

The latest results of the survey are in. The connected device market looks nothing like Mega Millions. There will be no zero-to-billion anything in the blink of an eye. However, users are preparing to invest more, if unevenly. Please consider this the first of a two-part, high-level update on investment plans.

Before we explain ourselves, we think it is important that we define who we are talking about, and then what we are talking about.

Enterprise User Community:  This is the collection of organizations in private or public sector operations whose primary business line—products or services—is something other than connected device solutions. These organizations run the gamut in terms of size, location, and profile. Enterprise users can be consumer packaged goods processors, trucking companies, hoteliers, electric utilities, or educational institutions, to name a few.

The enterprise user community sample referenced for this update includes:

  1. 33% industrial/manufacturing organizations with businesses selling consumer and commercial disposable and durable goods
  2. 13% private healthcare services providers
  3. 10% information technology or related computing/ communications services providers
  4. The remaining 44% of respondents were spread across many other business descriptions – more detail to come at Connected World Conference, June 11-13.

Status:  This is the organization’s position with respect to connected devices at the time that the survey was completed—in this case, the period February 22 through the end of April, perhaps.

High level takeaways:

  1. Nearly 70% of the respondents have a solution installed:
    1. 45% of the current user survey respondent sample have a connected device installed and are planning to invest in installation expansion or upgrades in the next 24 months.
    2. 23% have solutions installed, but, have no plans to expand or upgrade their solution in the forward 24-month period.
  2. Approximately two out of three users that have evaluated connected solutions in pilot are planning to invest in a rollout.
  3. Most—80% or more—of the companies that have not investigated connected devices are not planning any form of investment in the forward 24 months.

Most importantly from our perspective, this sample carries a bias, but, that bias does not invalidate nor diminish the value of the message. The bias is that most of the respondents have a lot of experience with connected devices and have invested in connected devices. There is a massive community of potential users that did not take this survey yet for any number of reasons. We are getting to them.

Some experienced market development professional might want to race to look for data about companies that are not in the market and ask why. Great questions. But, we think significant opportunities, even going so far as to call them critical requirements, exist in studying and applying the input from those already deploying and evaluating. They know the solutions best. They are generally most likely to invest next. When satisfied, they can be the most powerful source of customer acquisition and retention referrals.

Our advice: Take stock in what the current user and evaluator community is sharing about their experiences with your solutions.

  1. When building your forecasts, do not assume more than 50% of your current customers (blended for pilots and rollouts) will be investing in the next 24 months. This data says that maybe two out of three will.  We think you should be more conservative.
  2. When responding to the ‘yes’ from evaluators, do not take pilot performance for granted just because four out of five evaluators will invest in a rollout. We know the deltas between pilot environments and rollout conditions can be significant.

It is a rare mission-critical technology market that looks past the experiences of early adopters and races to rapid, sustainable, profitable growth among the great unwashed.

We need your help to make this survey as valuable as possible. If you are a user or evaluator, please invest 10 minutes to share your ideas. If you are a supplier, please share this with your customer and prospect community.

Take the survey. Access the results. Make better decisions.


April 10, 2012