As a continuation of the Internal of Things discussion yesterday, our second key idea I’d like to discuss is that there are two basic groups of IoT use cases. One is centered around enterprises and entrepreneurs looking to invent new IoT products or services, and the other focused on those looking to optimize their operations. And the truth is that many of our clients, the businesses who stand to gain or lose the most based on their IoT strategy, represent both roles. They are inventors, and they are operators as well.
Let’s say you’re looking to invent new IoT offerings. You must invent and innovate and improve products with interconnections in mind. Think about the type of data those products are generating or are capable of generating.
What new connections are you making, and how will you capitalize on those connections? How will you use the data? What insights are you able to uncover, and how will you leverage them to do what you do better? What new capabilities will the data enable?
There’s a new app, one of the winners of our SportsHack Challenge this year at Impact, that is capable of mapping crime data to create safe run routes, allowing runners to determine where the safest nearby areas are to run, anywhere in the world. Clever stuff.
And to be clear, all innovations or inventions are not focused on an app or product or service itself. Some of the better, more significant innovations over the last few years are focused on evolving or transforming the way people interact with those things. Or on how products and services interact with other devices or organizations.
An example is how Yarra Trams is using IBM big data, mobile, analytics and cloud technology to improve service reliability and get passengers where they need to be, faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Or maybe you are focused on optimizing your operations, bringing things together to create new value. Doesn’t matter if it’s a global supply chain, a production line, a fleet of rental cars or a server farm. And the irony is that today, a fleet of cars actually isn’t that different from a server farm—just on wheels.
Being an operator is about creating the system using technology from multiple vendors and then analyzing, synthesizing and optimizing, fighting to make it work better, more seamlessly, more fluidly.
The new connected car IBM will be working on with Toyota is an excellent example, where these guys are transforming everyday vehicles to gather all sorts of data that can adjust the suspension to accommodate road conditions, send drivers text alerts in real time about inclement weather and so much more.
As an example, we (IBM) helped the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA) integrate advanced analytics with asset management software to reduce downtime with predictive maintenance on its aging infrastructure. DC WASA instrumented thousands of water meters with automated meter reading technology that enables the Authority to use data to create a deeper understanding of usage patterns to provide citizens with more sophisticated pricing and demand response options.
Or maybe you’re both an inventor and an operator.
The point is simply that it’s important to understand the primary IoT use cases, and it’s also important that you know exactly how you or your clients fit into those use cases to build the right strategy for optimizing the IoT.
Tomorrow I will discuss the level of relationship and hierarchy around technology. But really, this point is less about prioritization and more about understanding how the pieces of your infrastructure puzzle fit together to bring you the best big picture the IoT has to offer. The IoT is the next concentric circle around the cloud. And of course, it is populated by things. But it’s also populated with people.
Now, I’m no Einstein, but I do want to offer you three thoughts in the spirit of this quote. Three key ideas to keep in mind when developing or optimizing your strategy for the Internet of Things.
First, the IOT is both like, and unlike, the Internet. Based on our experience across a diverse set of industries and clients, …
… there is an approximately 70 percent overlap between the two. So there is no question that if you have a highly effective Internet strategy, you’re far ahead of those who don’t. Because that Internet strategy proves that you’re already well equipped for the majority of what the IoT will throw at you.
But it also means there is a 30 percent piece that is unique.
And like most things, the devil of the IoT is in the details. In other words, to be successful moving forward, we must focus on the unique aspects of the IoT. And the truth is that if we don’t respect those differences, failure is inevitable.
OK, then what are the aspects of the IoT that make it unique from the Internet? For simplicity, we’ve categorized those things into four primary areas.
1. Different devices. And more of them. And new ones being invented virtually every day. It is within those devices that the potential to create this common language of the IoT begins; that is the genesis point for unity.
2. Different protocols. Different rules for data exchange between different systems. Again, if we think about the Tower of Babel analogy, the potential exists with the IoT, but if we aren’t speaking the same language, or at least using protocols that are compatible, what good is it to us?
3. Different types of analysis. And of course, different types of data that are all growing at an exponential rate. And then there’s all the historical data, ripe with value, that has yet to be tapped. How will it be analyzed? How can you refine your focus and make this now seemingly unmanageable task manageable once again?
4. And different partners. Yes, of course it is good to be strong in business processes and operations. But achieving IoT success means having the skills and capabilities that neither IT organizations nor industrial organizations have alone. It will require the right kind of partnerships, the right teams coming and working together to achieve a common goal.
So that’s the first key idea, the importance of focusing on that which differentiates the IoT from the Internet and refining your expertise, skills and partnerships to capitalize on those differences. To transform those technical challenges into business opportunities.
We’ll see the other 2 ideas tomorrow!!!
Why are fewer people graduating with a technical degree (12% today vs 37% in 1984)? Why should you care?
Listen to this video blog to see how people are starting to train their kids earlier on how to code because of the upcoming importance to ALL on the power of coding!
I’d love to hear your thoughts!!!
Our final SmartCamp Regional event for the year was held last week in London. We had 9 startup finalists; that’s the largest SmartCamp Regional we’ve ever had! Eight countries across Europe, including Israel, were represented. It was a truly amazing event!
Watch this short video about the SmartCamp Europe Regional!
The results produced two winners who will be going on to the SmartCamp Global Finals: Kinetise and WakingApp. Congratulations to these two startups for winning what proved to be one of the most competitive SmartCamps ever!
There is a common thread between these two startups. Both are native digital app companies with mobile solutions that allow anyone to create a mobile app, even if they don’t have hardcore programming skills. Drag and drop features are evident in both solutions, making it much easier and faster to deploy the features you want and need into your mobile app.
But why make mobile app development easier for non-developers? According to Piotr Pawlak, CEO of Kinetise, it is “because of the developer shortage. There is simply not enough engineers in the market” to keep up with demand.
Kinetise and WakingApp have tapped into the future of mobile app development, and I couldn’t be more excited to have them compete at our Global Finals! You can follow them on Twitter @Kinetise and @WakingApp.
The People’s Choice Award went to Magick, winner of SmartCamp Nordics. It’s clear to see why they are so popular since their mobile, browser-based financial trading solution makes it so much easier to perform financial trades, especially in the foreign currency exchange trade. Something tells me you’ll be hearing more about Magick, like in financial magazines! You can follow them on Twitter @MAGICKnu.
And I’m so thrilled that Andiamo, one of my favorite startups, received a Special Mention during the event. Andiamo, our SmartCamp London winner, has a solution that uses 3D scanning and printing technology to create orthotics for children in a fraction of the time it took with previous methods… and cheaper, too! They are literally improving the lives of so many children and their families with this innovative solution. Congratulations to Andiamo and continued success! Follow them on Twitter @AndiamoHQ.
Follow my blog post for more on the upcoming SmartCamp Global Finals for 2014!
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