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This blog is my third on Internet of Things.
I began by discussing how the IOT is both like, and unlike, the Internet. It is critical that you focus on that which differentiates the IoT from the Internet and refineyour expertise, skills and partnerships to capitalize on those differences.
Then we discussed the innovators and the operators. 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
The third concept I’d like to share is one that starts to create some 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.
All the work we are doing now in the cloud, analytics and mobile is significant, and there is immediate business impact for all of it. And we typically have a very clear perspective on why we do it, how we justify the investment. And until now, the reason for why we have done it hasn’t been immediately focused on the IoT.
But the truth is, whether we know it or not, when we make those investments in cloud, analytics and mobile infrastructure, we’re laying the foundation for the IoT.
And that foundation work is vital, if often under appreciated, because everything else depends on the stability of that layer. Ask any architect, and she’ll tell you how important a solid foundation is to the overall integrity of the structure, to the whole. Everything else depends on it.
And we have evidence all around us that poorly established foundations will ultimately unsettle even the most beautifully designed architecture.
So when we build our Internet of Things, we must build it on a robust and highly secure foundation. In other words, we need to balance our focus on “things” with an equal focus on the people who use those things.
And if we don’t, we can expect the structure to ultimately crumble.
Without the right foundation, the right infrastructure, our Internet of Things is a house of cards waiting for a puff of wind to come along and rip it apart. But with a strong, stable foundation, we give our IoT structure the opportunity to stand straight and tall as a beacon for those that follow in our tracks.
Now where does all of this leave us today?
We must have the courage to undertake the journey, to be bold in our actions. (Yes, I did write a book called “Get Bold”) There’s no question that we’ll need to adjust course, optimize, iterate. We also know that we’ll need to have the right partners with the right level of expertise and experience and broad level of capabilities.
And we’ll need to keep moving down this path. And when there is no path, we must be willing and able to forge the way and blaze our own.
Because while the IoT is arguably defined, at least in part, by the new treasure troves of data now being generated and made available to us…
… it’s also certainly defined by a constant, unforgiving and irrefutable demand for innovation.
And the key today is that, as your competitors arrive at your milestone of innovation, you’ve already moved again. Because you never stopped innovating. You are, and must be, absolutely relentless in your pursuit of innovation.
We must all learn to translate this ever-growing global network of data and ideas and “things” into something that makes your business more profitable—and then make sure we’re in a position to accommodate it. Something that helps your city run more smoothly. Helps you save more lives. Helps us all answer that question, “why bother listening?”
So let me know your approach to IoT!!!
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.
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!!!