Gartner News

When Things Become Customers

Things as customers pose risks, but they can be managed smartly and ethically

What if your customer’s electric vehicle found the nearest charging station, reserved a spot and then paid your company for it? Or your customer’s dishwasher told you, the manufacturer, when it was ready for service and scheduled the service call on the customer’s behalf?

As “things” become more intelligent, they will gain the capacity to buy and sell in the world of digital business and the Internet of Things (IoT). This means new opportunities for revenue and efficiencies for all types of enterprises, but also new ways of managing customer relationships.

As “things” become customers, this will fundamentally change the vendor/customer relationship in many industries. The devices allow for a new relationship, one that bypasses the distributor and retailer intermediaries that currently intercede in the vendor-to-consumer relationship. Because their devices do much of the decision making for them, consumers will be able to bypass the retailing and service/repair channels that currently exist.

“This may seem far-fetched, but it’s not, and vendors that fail to build for such eventualities are at risk of obsolescence,” said Don Scheibenreif, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. Read the complete article on Smarter With Gartner website…

Gartner clients can learn more in the report “Internet of Things Scenario: When Things Become Customers.” This is part of the Gartner Special Report “The Internet of Things Enables Digital Business”, a research collection focused on how IoT will create new opportunities and challenges for enterprises.

Trends in IoT will be further discussed at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and other senior IT executives.

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