We can think of the co-economy as a mindset, a process, and a value proposition by which organizations partner with other organizations. They combine their skills, talents and resources for anything from a one-off project to an ongoing initiative. In the co-economy, the customer is at the center -- and quite likely, may be one of the active co-players in the effort.
Related: How Small Business Owners Should Be Using IoT
The co-economy has emerged from an environment fostered by the internet of things (IoT) that demands speed, improved customer service, greater business agility, better responsiveness, lower costs and compelling customer experiences. Add to this a complex, rapidly evolving technology landscape and it is clear that no company can do it all alone.
This is particularly true for firms working to co-develop or co-implement IoT solutions in business-to-business sectors. IoT is built upon complex technologies and processes, from sensor technology to networking to big data and analytics. No single company has expertise in all those areas, particularly if the solution needs to be tailored to the requirements of an industry segment. Collaboration is no longer an option. Vendors must work through a select set of partners, each of which contributes its particular horizontal or vertical capabilities to deliver a complete solution.
This is where startups come in. There are hundreds of IoT startups vying to provide either robust horizontal capabilities, modules or platforms for delivering IoT solutions, or specialized applications for specific vertical industry segments. Because IoT is such a big, complex, fast-changing field, it offers startups a unique opportunity to carve out their own place in the market and innovate with established enterprises -- if they do it right.