The Internet of Things is disrupting all businesses, including the leaders. Since I launch the book, I have had a lot of discussion with leaders telling me: “I need to go Digital…. but I don’t know how… ”
The IoT is already transforming numerous markets and companies such as manufacturing companies that have been very successful in the Analog era, and that now must transform themselves in order to survive in the coming decades.
Making sense of these changes and, more importantly, understanding how to leverage them in order to grow head and shoulders above the competition should be one of the priorities of today’s Analog leaders.
The IoT will connect everyone and everything into a seamless network, which Jeremy Rifkin calls the “Intelligent Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure—the Internet of Things”. In his last book “The Zero Marginal Cost Society“, he highlights the fact that the IoT will “usher in a fundamental reordering of human relationships, from hierarchical to lateral power, that will impact the way we conduct business, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life”.
A TASTE OF “DÉJÀ VU” ?
On the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, in 2015, John Chambers, Executive chairman of Cisco Systems, speaking at a session entitled “The New Digital Context”, stated, “I’ve seen this movie before. Today we are at an inflection point. Take what happened with the Internet in the 1990s, multiply it by five to ten-fold and that’s what you’re about to see and the benefits are going to be seen by every single person. In short what you’re going to see is every company, every country, every citizen, every home, every car, every wearable becomes digital. That information flow is going to allow you to change things.”
As a powerful indicator of this era, the sum of all data created in the next few years will be at least ten times more than the total of all data generated up to this point, jumping from around 4.4 zettabytes in 2013 to 44 zettabytes by 2020. IoT is accelerating the digital transformation which started in the year 2000.
Technologies are evolving laser fast, but have not yet established their “rules of the game”.
That which happened to digital cameras in the 1990s and with the internet in the beginning of 2000 is what is happening to the IoT right now.
Why IoT is at its inflection point ?
I think that there are mainly 2 reasons that explain why IoT is at its inflection point:
- Cost of technology is falling
2. Cost of connectivity and bandwidth are also falling:
How to benefit from this inflection point, what are the Threats and Opportunities ?
A survey done by Gartner, showed that 91 percent of the surveyed IT professionals had doubts about their roles in their organization’s digital transformation. However, 59 percent added that their IT organization was unprepared for the digital business of the next two years:
A recent study also showed that the biggest threat to Digital Transformation is in fact more internal than external:
As of today, there are opportunities for both existing and new players. Digitization enables technology companies to compete with historical analog businesses.
You can choose to ignore the opportunities, but you will not be able to sidestep the repercussions of the IoT.
Don’t be misled by the self-declared technology gurus that the digital revolution is simply yet another evolution of technology. The Internet of Things is an industry-specific buzzword and almost 90% of the population have no idea what it means.
Time lost is never recovered
The risks associated with doing nothing or moving too slowly could also impact the ability of your company to seek new financing which would allow for a strong come back or to catch up with other players that have better managed to pivot and re-think their operations, their people, and the way they do business.
You might believe the IoT is growing slowly, giving you plenty of time to strategize and transition your business to this new paradigm. However, the number of things—smart devices of all types—connected to the Internet is growing exponentially. Gartner predicts that the number connected will increase from 6.4 in 2016 to 20.8 billion by 2020.
Unfortunately, time is a scarce resource, even more so when technologies, market, and competition acceleration reduce the time left to react and adapt to the new rules of the game.
The first thing anyone tackling the Internet of Things should start by his/her education.
As stated previously the IoT is still a buzz word but the rules of the games are beginning to be written and we are very close to the inflexion point; so now is the best time to educate yourself. Learn the rules of the game
Your priority should be to learn the rules of the game. If you don’t know the rules of the game, if you don’t spend time learning them, how can you expect to win?
#1: Understand the underlying technologies
#2: Understand the use cases, the emerging business models, the go to market/channel and ecosystem required
#3: Keep learning: go to the source of updated information such as IoT events and conference, books, blogs and so forth
I went through this path and initially, I did not set out to write a book. I had merely wanted to find such a book, but instead discovered it did not exist. None of the technology books and blogs expanded on the IoT, beyond the pure technology element, in a way that would help companies understand how to transform, leverage themselves and supersede their competition.