Written by Tina Le, Chief Community Builder at Nucleus3

The Power of Connecting

As we pay more attention and embark further into the digital journey within any industry, it is becoming more and more evident that technology pervades every aspect of the modern world. Everything is now so intricately connected and plays a role or influence on each other from objects to individuals, businesses to communities, or fragmented bits of information turned into data. This concept of the symbiotic relationship can configure our ecosystem with technological breakthroughs. Its ability to provide a form of additional support through business activities with sustainable effects by shaping, transforming society, and reducing industrial impact on the environment.

The constantly changing and ever-evolving technologies within the utilities IoT space present a landscape that is more highly valued now than ever before – our communities can proceed with business and social activities via a virtual world. With the growing capabilities and the recognised benefits of how technology can ensure that resources are fully utilised this is an opportune time to use technology to sustain, manage, and drive IoT capabilities to form new operating paradigms.

Digital Water

Over the past few years, we have seen Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI), digital twins, intelligent asset management, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), 5G, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) deployed into critical infrastructure networks. The innovation ecosystem has disrupted and challenged the status quo through the means of algorithms, dashboards, managed devices, software, and advisory services being key influencers in managing water and utilities operations. As these revolutionary trends bring a shift in operating models of how infrastructure assets are managed, cutting-edge technologies have enabled utilities to manage water operations through innovative solutions and build an ever-growing list of use cases.

One of the primary advantages of IoT capability is its ability to optimise the collection and analysis of datasets through algorithms and programming where predictive enhancements allow for efficiency and time-saving measures. The augmentation of routine tasks allows industry specialists to redirect their efforts to strategic decision-making and cultivated outcomes.

Another redefining trend of water digitalisation is how IoT enables interaction with its end-customers. The customer experience powered through IoT-enabled gamification is an emerging trend that personalises engagements to enhance a user’s experience with their utility providers. This multifaceted approach of user-based intelligence learning, coupled with customer usage data and a gamified incentive to hit water-saving initiatives has seen genuine engagement that has shaped behaviours and enhanced user acceptance of IoT technology. This application has proved valuable and plays a central role in curating community messages on the importance of water-saving activities amid the climate change burden Australia faces today.

Showcasing Value

While there isn’t a shortage in the market of suppliers and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), there is certainly a shortage of value deriving from services to product offerings and hardware. What currently differentiates the players in the market is the symbiotic dynamic between reliability, accessibility, and post-sales care.

2024 and beyond will see continuous players entering the Australian market with introductions to product launches, developed hardware-software enhancements, and further innovative tech capabilities, with the focus often on production-based capability. The growing call for a paradigm shift from product focus to customer focus coupled with value creation is where there will be predicted changes as the IoT lifecycle matures.

The reliability of products can often be faced with challenges in hardware durability, especially in Australia’s extreme weather conditions. Hardware manufacturers undergo the complexity of device interoperability, simulated testing cycles, advanced analytics, production costs, and design. The reliability of products and hardware to the end-users is often revealed through customer feedback during the analysis process between the proof of concept and proof of value assessments. These pilots often undertake a small purchase of hardware, where the user experience and reliability will translate to perceived value and determine brand equity, thus driving the volume of repeat orders. This is where reliability often reveals a correlation between supplier products, brand reputation, and supplier relationships.

As supplier relationships are becoming more critical as we enter a customer-centric, user experience driven era, the accessibility to products and services are important factors in driving another dimension of value, product reputation and brand adoption. Operating models require productive efficiencies and considered response times to cater to customer needs. A hardware supplier’s ability to be nimble and service-centered will allow them to stay aligned with customer needs and expectations along the project phases, ensuring ongoing engagement throughout sales and production.

It is often the case that once customers have secured budget, their expectation for project delivery is within a set timeframe. Planning and aligning resources for timely delivery and project commencement is often key to keeping customers engaged and excited about their projects. It becomes critical that customers require access to attain products and hardware within a reasonable and predictable timeframe. The emphasis on timely accessibility to products and services is also based on the sustainability journey, as we are threatened by climate change and resource scarcity factors. This highlights the importance of allocating resources, factoring in time and production efficiencies so that it can reach its end-users sooner rather than later and in turn, assist with modifying user behaviours and habits.

The third dominant logic that affirms the value of a market offering is the significance of post-sales care. Ensuring that customers are equipped with products or hardware only satisfies half their journey. The service and product assurance from when a customer purchases and acquires a product, to how they are enabled to use that product is a critical piece of a supplier and delivery framework. Ensuring a customer’s usability to capture and fully recognise product capability often lies within the post-care cycle. Such measures like training and ongoing support services are where the realised benefits lie. For Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), it is also critical to select the right partners with aligned value propositions as they deploy effective processes, and supply hardware while leveraging the latest customer insights to accelerate development for future releases. This instrumental feedback loop for OEMs through partner-led initiatives also creates the ability to evolve product design advancements which becomes invaluable over the longer term.

We are at a pivotal point in the IoT lifecycle. It is important to recognise that our inputs and how service providers engage will create and shape the macro systems that leverage the overarching landscape that extend into our communities.

We know that entering the digital era of water management will transform the industry and local communities, however, we must not shy away from the value-driven objectives that are based on human-centered design. What should be central to business models is the value and how value creation is determined and deployed in its delivery. We know technology will continue to embed itself in our way of life, therefore it is imperative to focus on end-user environments and experiences so that it is received positively and recognised as a means of enhancing the quality of life.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Nucleus3. For more information, visit or


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