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CIOs: Transform your teams if you want to deliver winning IoT products

What are the keys to being an IoT product leader? Forrester offers four steps.

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Sadly, most companies don't have the right operating and development practices to build and deliver great customer experiences for their IoT-enabled products and services. To help CIOs get this right, Forrester has a collection of reports that catalog the best practices CIOs and digital leaders are using to successfully transform IoT customer experiences.

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Collectively, these best practices cross traditional, mobile, and embedded development and represent a significant evolution for how CIOs should organize and execute product development. It's still true that most CIO organizations are structured to support mission-critical applications and update them just a few times a year, but digital leaders at companies that are delivering CX-leading IoT devices build their software delivery teams in a different way.

The Keys To Being An IoT Product Leader Are:

  • Start with customer obsession. Driving richer, more-intuitive, and value-adding experiences should be priority No. 1. And don't assume what will be valuable. Partner with your customer experience-focused teams to test, validate, and continuously stay engaged with your most valuable and forward-looking customers. Check out this Forrester report on customer-obsessed enterprises for more on this topic.
  • Take a whole product experience focus. It's easy to fall into the trap of focusing just on the software or user experience features, but in IoT, to drive greater customer experience you need to look at all aspects of the product including how you analyze its sensor data, what you integrate it with to derive insights and guidance, and how the product ties into the overall customer engagement by your company.
  • Spread agility across the organization, tied to product success. Shift your team's focus away from the five-times-per-year historical development model to one that embraces rapid, continuous evolution of the software and analytics capabilities of your IoT solution.
  • Build your road map based on what customers are ultimately trying to achieve. Rarely is a customer's end goal purely tied to how they use your IoT product or service. For example, a cyclist using a SmartHalo on their bicycle clearly benefits from its navigation and security capabilities, but those are simply value adds to what they are ultimately trying to do, which is either to optimize their commute or to step up their overall health through cycling as their fitness activity of choice. Customer obsession means helping align and achieve these ultimate goals. This may not be directly through your product but through a collective effort with others in your market ecosystem.

Nothing could be more important in the IoT world than to ensure your products and services drive rich customer value. And through these reports and the on-going research the Forrester CIO team is driving around customer obsession, organizational agility, and innovation we can help you ensure your company is a long-term market leader.

Also: Older IoT and smart home gadgets are targets for hackers CNET


-- By James Staten, vice president and principal analyst

Want to learn more about best practices for CIOs and digital leaders to create connected-product software that successfully transforms customer experiences? Don't miss Forrester's report, "Best Practices for IoT Product Development and Delivery" [subscription required].

This post originally appeared here.

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