The Connected Home: Is It Anyone’s Game?
09 December 2016
Our work on the Connected Home has identified 10 different developments that likely represent the practical reality of the future of the connected home. Today we launch our thinking on the final five developments we have identified.
These developments are the 10 kinds of technologies that we would expect to have a strong and tangible presence in people’s homes and lives in the near future.
This begs the question though who is going to sell them? Many industries are ready to take advantage of this growing market: from energy and technology stalwarts, to digital and telco innovators; from retailers and transport giants, to health and insurance companies. With so many different industries willing and able to compete, is it anyone’s game?
Looking at early innovators may give us some clue. Examples of current products on offer include: Nest (pioneered by online giant Google); Hive (backed by Big 6 Energy firm Centrica); Homekit (Apple); and O2 Home (the telco company’s bundled offering of smart home tech). There is no group clearly dominating across the board. Yet these examples show us that firms are sticking to what each of their industries does best. It is a mostly siloed approach to try to make the most of their specific capabilities. Is this ‘divide and conquer’ strategy the best way to play in the connected home market?
Our recently launched analysis  on the current state of the market and consumer perceptions suggests perhaps not. People demand a lot from a successful connected home technology, and some might think that they demand too much for the current technology to offer. But this does not mean that it is no-one’s game.
Meeting all these demands can be difficult for one company to achieve, but successes so far suggest that partnerships may be a way for players to secure the capabilities needed to tick all the boxes consumers are demanding.
Apple’s Homekit, for example, shows how partnerships and collaboration can open up opportunities for entering the market successfully. A branded platform allows smaller organisations to gain access to an established audience, whilst the lead partner will benefit from multiple organisations using their platform. Such platforms allow both parties to succeed, and ultimately make it more likely for a ‘winning’ product to enter the market.
So in many ways, the connected home market depends on how existing firms use their capabilities to leverage strong partnerships. Those who remain in a siloed approach to their own industries will likely be left behind. Collaboration, it seems, is key.
We have developed a Partnering Maturity Framework to assess an organisation’s ability to achieve successful partnering in this market. We see six core capabilities that businesses should consider when looking at establishing a partnership. Taking a holistic view and considering each aspect is important for delivering a winning partnership.
For more information on this framework, and how it may apply to your business, please contact Steve Jennings.
Steve Jennings | UK Power & Utilities Leader