- High costs and system complexity are common barriers to wider adoption of smart home technologies and applications
LONDON, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Though the Smart Home concept is far from new, it has continued to elude wider scale adoption, despite the maturing of both home automation and broadband communications technologies. The industry appears to be driving a renewed interest as companies seek new revenue opportunities by exploiting the near-universal interest in smart innovation, particularly in urban environments. However, unless crucial challenges are addressed, Frost & Sullivan believes that history may simply repeat itself.
According to a survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan with more than 1,000 households across the United States and Canada in 2011, only 28 per cent of homeowners are interested in Smart Home solutions. Further, respondents indicate that they were unwilling to pay more than USD30 a month for Smart Home solutions. The results of the survey suggest that people today perceive the Smart Home to have a negative price-value relationship.
"As the consumer communication environment has become more complex, it is the complexity that is getting in the way of service consumption," says Frost & Sullivan Vice President of ICT, Daniel Shepherd. "While more aggressive pricing – and different pricing models – will help balance out the relationship with perceived value, the creation of well-integrated bundles that address real customer needs is at least as important."
The supplier market for Smart Home applications is extremely fragmented and most players offer only partial solutions. Smart Home solutions require the effective collaboration of multiple players, from communications service providers, to infrastructure and information technology suppliers, to energy and utilities companies, to building technology and physical security vendors, to maintenance and other service companies, among others.
"This type of complex collaboration framework is challenging to develop due to the inherent – and sometimes conflicting - interests of each company in the mix, particularly around ownership of the customer and accountability for service levels and quality," adds Mr. Shepherd. "When the pricing/affordability challenge is added to the mix, it can become complex to make the business case work."
In some mature markets, there are commercial offers for Smart Home solutions already available. Russia is at an earlier stage of development. Daniel Shepherd notes: "Reflecting on Frost & Sullivan international experience and the characteristics of the Russian market, I believe that the potential for Smart Homes is very exciting in Russia - in line with other 'smart' developments in the country. Nevertheless, we see the same challenges as we see in other markets; for example, ease of deployment and integration, establishing successful innovation and delivery models founded on the principles of an ecosystem, demonstrating end-user value, amongst others. These challenges are, if anything, even more crucial in Russia given the intense levels of competition and price sensitivity."
Mr. Shepherd presented Frost & Sullivan's view on the Smart Home market during the "Smart House and Office, Open Innovations 2012" conference, held in Moscow last month. If you would like to receive Mr. Shepherd's presentation, please contact Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at Joanna.email@example.com.
In 2012, Frost & Sullivan ICT has launched a new Vertical Markets research programme in Europe. It is the tool that gives business leaders the understanding upon which to base defensive and offensive vertical strategies. The Growth Partnership Services (GPS) enables you to bring clarity to your vertical market strategies, helping you to target your products and services in a compelling and effective manner. For end users of ICT services across key vertical markets, the programme provides valuable insight into the supply-side market, and offers a means by which to benchmark your strategies against the wider industry.
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan