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Published on September 29th, 2015 | by The GC Team

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Connected home a “wake up” call for European business

A new report released today states that the connected home represents both a significant opportunity and a threat to a diverse range of European businesses, and estimates that the Western European connected home market will be worth up to €12 billion annually by 2019, with a total of almost 50 million homes having installed such technology.

‘How To Create Growth From The Connected Home’, released by Deutsche Telekom, sets out how connected homes will have great impact across multiple industries. It details seven distinct areas of opportunity that could be exploited by telcos, utilities, retailers, insurers, warranty providers, home assistance providers, appliance and consumer hardware manufacturers and suggests the most crucial development will be that businesses will need to move from “just selling” consumer hardware, to hardware-based services, which will impact their models, margins and routes to markets.

Holger Knoepke, VP Connected Home, Deutsche Telekom, said: “We want this report to be a wake up for European business. Global giants have their sights firmly set on our markets and the value that can be extracted from many diverse industries, from insurance to energy, from warranty to connectivity. The opportunity is now. Global competitors will not sit around and wait for European players to fully prepare their strategies and product development plans.

“Many firms still need to grasp the impact that the connected home will have on their market, on their business and on their model. If you are a business to consumer firm that provides products or services to consumers in their home, then be under no doubt that the connected home will impact you over the next five years. For many firms the implications will be dramatic. We have absolutely no doubt that this will lead to the further commoditisation for many players, to the disintermediation of many others, and dramatic changes in the relationship that brands have with other brands and their route to market.”

The report sets out how the IoT – and the technology associated with the connected home – will transform the way we live in our homes: from micro-ordering of consumables to providing greater peace of mind across safety, security and insurance, to saving energy and providing a proactive response and maintenance when appliances and devices fail.

Deutsche Telekom suggests that too many players will not survive without partnering, as there are not yet the industry-wide platforms or consistent standards required.

“We, the connected home industry, need to abandon previous proprietary and closed approaches, or gated communities, and open up to a higher level of collaboration. In the long run, no company – or brand – can establish the connected home alone – those who think that they can, will not succeed,” it states.

“To date, this market has been too focused on technology for technology’s sake, and overlooked the customer and their needs,” said Knoepke. “Beyond this, there needs to be greater willingness to partner to realise growth. And finally, the winners will be those that are prepared to innovate, to take risks, and be willing to lead in a nascent market.”

The report can be downloaded here.

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