We have been surrounded by articles on Big Data and the Internet of Things for some time now.

The change foreseen by experts has finally come and it’s time for businesses to learn how to collect data in a manner that would benefit their productivity. More and more companies are investing in gathering and analysing these data, coming from the internet, which represent meaningful insights about real people behaviours, machines specific functioning, weather conditions and much more. The main objective is to learn more about their industries, based on those data coming from a wide range of sources.

Besides, an always growing range of Smart Service is changing the way companies think about their business: life-long supports services, more timely maintenance, reduced management costs and, of course, brand new opportunities. While everybody agrees that the Internet of Things allows to explore new business models and opening up to new High-Value solutions, not much has been said about how technology can help companies to switch from good services to Smart Services. 

Let's start by clarifying what smart services are: any kind of service provided in a manner that let you anticipate problems and customer's needs, relying on ICT technologies that allows the acquisition and processing of contextual data. These services can be grouped together as follows:

1. H2H – Human to Human / High-touch services
Designed to assist remote interactions between supplier and client and service, with a high level of human interaction.
Value proposition: provide a quasi-human interaction with high value added.

2. H2M – Human to Machine / Self-service
Technology provides a self-service process, where the client has the only active role.
Value proposition: thanks to interfaces and technologies (ex. smartphones) the customer can autonomously perform operations. The supplier presence is not required.

3. H2M – Human to Machine / Super-service
The supplier provide the service on the client's behalf.
Value proposition: the client is not involved and disturbed while the supplier gets the job done.

4. M2M – Machine to Machine / High tech services
Technology automates the entire process of creating sustainable value.
Value proposition: high monitoring and remote diagnostics without human intervention.

The greatest challenge today is to identify the best and most effective Smart Service for each industry, where cutting-edge technologies will play a central role in terms of workflow optimization and cost reduction. Consequently, it is necessary to develop system integration capabilities, setting new patterns of interaction among the actors and leading to dynamic and efficient human-machine paradigms.