How to develop a Product Strategy for Connected Devices
What is a product strategy?
Product strategies are necessary for executing business plans and future planning about the products and services it wishes to launch. It answers primary questions about the product's features, feasibility, use, and utility to various customers. Additionally, a product strategy is essential for business owners and stakeholders since it defines the company’s goals vis-à-vis the product and its future aspirations.
In short, a product strategy is a roadmap of a business that talks about the company’s vision, aspirations, and plans keeping in mind its competition and target market, along with other factors.
When every day there is a new product hitting the market with the latest trends, fulfilling consumer desires, and adding to the existing competition, there is a dire need for products that are a cut above the others.
From mobile phones, and laptops, to software and IOT-powered devices, there is a vast market with each company designing a product that fulfills a different consumer need. However, there is such a rush to launch new technology due to the fear of trends going obsolete in the nick of time. This has led to companies skimping on thorough product planning and cutting corners for faster results.
At CognitiveClouds, we believe in in-depth but fast market research, customer analysis, and creating a product strategy before diving into the product's development phase. Read ahead to discover our secret to a successful product strategy for connected devices.
Significance of product strategies in launching IoT devices
As mentioned above, a product strategy helps businesses understand their target audience, key demand, and brand popularity. However, it also aids product developers in methodically creating new devices using the latest technologies, platforms, programming languages, and more.
Creating a device and integrating it into the internet may not be difficult for the highly experienced developers of today, but taking care of the following tasks, such as data security, software upgrade, customization, and a suitable product-market fit, cannot be done without a detailed product strategy.
The field of IoT is known for being inherently complicated, thus facing failure at the execution level or being dropped due to unforeseen complications at the development stage. The Beecham Research shows that over 74% of IoT projects fail and must be scrapped. A product strategy helps IoT developers gain a strategic view of the entire process and foresee all the bottlenecks that may arise in the development, execution, or launch phase.
Besides guiding the product developers and designers like a roadmap, a strategy also gives them a clearer and closer outlook on the fundamental purpose behind the product, helping them understand the strategic goals and aspirations of the company, thus providing results with more clarity.
A product strategy also benefits the sales and marketing team by articulating the product's benefits, explaining its ideology to potential customers, and creating content to attract a target audience. Lastly, a product roadmap also helps the customer support team in providing better troubleshooting to the customers.
How to develop a product strategy for IoT-driven devices?
You can create a product strategy for IoT devices by keeping in mind the following steps. Consider the following points before making an IoT-driven product and add it to your product development strategy.
- Map a business objective
The most critical step of developing a product strategy for IoT devices is to take into account the business objectives and map the resources in hand that would be needed for the successful execution of the project. A product strategy is used to conduct a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Objectives, Threat) analysis as well as a PESTLE (Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) analysis of the product. It helps businesses understand, at length, how a product will perform in the market, comprehend the market gap, and note how it can benefit its users. Additionally, a product strategy report helps businesses map the Effort Estimation Analysis to understand the effort and time required by designers, architects, developers, etc., in developing the product. Understanding the business objective also helps developers and designers develop creative solutions to problems and help in adding value to the product.
To summarize, mapping a business objective and adding the analysis results mentioned above is the most crucial step in developing a working product strategy. The defined goals and the list of foreseen business obstructions become a roadmap for the people working on the product development, making the process more efficient besides ensuring fast delivery.
- Choose compatible cloud services.
Choosing the right IoT development platform and cloud services is necessary for efficiently connecting devices to sensors, using the internet and enabling data transfer, and monitoring and controlling the enabled device remotely. The seamless connection between two devices or access to an extensive network of devices adds to the benefits of choosing the right cloud services for your IoT product.
Additionally, cloud services offer freedom of authentic collaboration with encryption across teams. This allows for pooling resources and establishing close connections between developers, designers, users, and other stakeholders.
Lastly, IoT cloud services allow companies to scale their products on request without worrying about the storage it may take up. With the freedom of scalability, you can expand on storage space, edit the IoT application when required, and work with many users.
- Building a prototype
Planning for a prototype for IoT products helps the entire task force, from development, quality check, and execution to sales, marketing, and customer service, get a practical idea of what product is being developed. This helps the various departments perform their respective KRAs (Key Responsibility Areas) with complete clarity on the product, its benefits, loopholes, objectives, and its development plan.
Building a prototype also helps in planning an expected outcome for the product and often helps the company decide for or against its execution. It also helps in concept testing with a cross-section of the target market, providing the company with honest feedback.
Lastly, a prototype presents a gap analysis of what value is needed from the product and what it provides to its clientele at the time of development. This is also essential to understand the market and avoid delays in the product launch.
Building a prototype is also an essential step in developing a product strategy for IoT because it helps companies keep an account of the following:
1. Hardware requirements
2. User interface accuracy, accessibility, and responsiveness
3. Backend programming and functionality
4. Ensure connectivity with Wifi, Bluetooth, and Networks.
5. Take care of messaging communication protocols between IoT devices and cloud services.
The above-mentioned industry-standard components are considered throughout the transition of the prototype to an actual product that is ready for use by end-users.
- Sourcing Partners
A product strategy for IoT devices is incomplete without planning for the mass production of sensors, electronic devices that can support the IoT application, controllers, and LEDs, along with making a list of compliances and regulations you may have to abide by throughout the production and launch of the product.
Sourcing for a mass requirement of hardware can be a time-consuming process and must be planned for with the execution of the product. Start by researching the available sourcing partners and manufacturing partners. Compare and review their experience with IoT devices, assembly, testing, and packaging of IoT products.
Secondly, an experienced engineering partner is essential to your sourcing plan since they help design and develop electronic components and embedded systems to integrate into the IoT devices.
- Compliance and Certifications
Although getting your IoT product certified and aligned with the various compliances is the final step to your product development strategy, it is also a crucial step that must be planned beforehand and considered along with the rest of the product strategy. This is because, without making your IoT product compliant with the market regulations and certifications, your product cannot legally be sold in the market.
Below are some common Regulatory Compliance Certifications that test and validate the product for safety and security measures within the predefined national regulations:
1. China Compulsory Certification (CCC)
2. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
3. Radio Equipment Directive (RED) & Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
4. Network Access License (NAL)
Following are the compliance requirements for IoT products in the telecommunications industry:
1. Global Certification Forum (GCF)
2. PCS Type Certification Review Board (PCTRB)
Some sector-specific certifications are important for an IoT product’s launch:
1. Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPPA) Certification for Healthcare
2. Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) Certification for power
3. North American Electric Reliability Commission (NERC) Certification for power
4. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) Certification for Automobile
5. Verizon, Deutsche Telecom certifications for Telecom
IoT product development encompasses considering a sea of technologies, trends, products, systems, and processes that can provide the consumer with a “smart” experience and offer innovative solutions to real-world problems. IoT often is combined with other technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Machine Learning, and more for enhanced services, which makes the product development process all the more complex and prone to failure at any level.
CognitiveClouds is reputed for its IoT-driven solutions and comprehensive product strategies that promise excellent outcomes and market response. Click here to get in touch with our team of experts and discuss your product strategy with us today!