Why an IoT book?
Initially, I did not set out to write a book.I had merely wanted to find a book on the Internet of Things, but instead discovered it did not exist. I did find a lot of commercial and marketing books but very often with a lack of strategic guidance, or anecdotal reference to what companies are facing. 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.
I have witnessed so much confusion and trepidation around the IoT with more questions than answers.
A 2 years’ journey
Two years ago, I said to myself: How am I going to do ; I wanted to give back so much but did not know how to do it… So I then decided: just do it, let’s start and do baby steps. I wanted to explain the new rules of the game and give simple and pragmatic steps to not only survive but succeed with digital transformation, to provide the readers with the essential knowledge to understand these new rules.
I wanted to guide the readers and help them understand what the IoT may hold for them, as well as define a digitization strategy so they can put together an action plan to adapt and succeed.
I wanted to give them the knowledge to understand what lies behind the fancy acronyms and digital mirage and give a simple, step by step method to assess where their current portfolio is today but more importantly what needs to be done to digitize it.
The pain of choosing a title!
Choosing the title of this book is always one of the most important and challenging tasks—as it was most certainly for me. My dilemma was: How to impart the urgency and the significance of this technological era, so critical, demanding, and fast-moving?
Digitize or Die: It may sound overly dramatic or cliché, however it is simply the reality.
If you don’t know the rules of the game, if you don’t spend time learning them, how can you expect to win?
With my background as a telecom engineer, major account sales, branch manager, channel manager, global channel program manager, and even a start-up venture, I’ve lived through many of these transformations. Indeed, one of the reasons I’ve written this book is to share with others what I have learned along with my insights about what might be important coming, just around the corner.
I have seen analog companies disappear, others merely survive, and some hurdle forward of their competition in markets such as the analog telephony to IP switch between 2000 and 2010, the video switch from analog to IP, and the current digitization of homes and energy/power networks. I saw companies that were analog leaders de-rank from leader to follower, with all the associated social implications such as employee turnover, massive layoffs, share price falling, and so on.
Having been ‘up close and personally digital’ in a big way, enabled me to discern what causes companies to either disappear, or, ideally, to flourish and even leap frog ahead of their competitors.
Finding an audience: seems simple… it’s not…
I took me a while to define the audience for whom I wanted to write the book for. Speaking with manufacturers, partners, technology providers and so forth made me understand that there was a real education, knowledge, need at the CEOs, CDOs and employees of companies that have built a performing analog business and that are asking questions about what the IoT holds in store, good or bad, for their business.
The book is intended to be used by senior leaders in manufacturing companies, resellers, software vendors and associated channels, in particular—CDOs, CTOs, and CIO/CDIOs, who are at the forefront of leading the digital transformation of the company.
Clarifying what the book is NOT is as important as defining what it is
I soon realized that:
- I did not want the book to be a repository of all existing IoT norms, standards, technologies and applications (often called “Smart Something”).
- I did not want the book to be a technical volume as there are plenty of white papers, case studies, and books available that go over this technology in detail. Instead, this book defines some terms and processes without going into detail; just enough technology will be described to ensure understanding
- I did not want the book to be a discussion about which technologies are likely to win or loss. Predictions about which companies will likely make it versus those that may fail are beyond the scope of this manuscript.
As I wrote in a recent blog, I do not believe in focusing on “Smart Something” (Smart Energy, Smart Industry, etc.) as the industry has already moved beyond this concept and does not respond to the challenges which companies need to face in taking advantage of digital technology. Instead, I wanted to give the necessary knowledge to understand what is happening and, more importantly, what options the readers and their business should leverage this major milestone in digital transformation.
The importance of giving back
I wanted to share what I knew and learned with the readers but I also wanted to give back some of the royalties to meaningful causes.
I decided to donate back to:
- Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org), which provides care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
- Fondation de France (fondationdefrance.org), which supports projects in complex fields, such as education, research and social integration.
Why you should write a book: the path is more important than the result
It’s true that the day you have, for the first time, your book in your hands is like discovering a new child: you’ve been dreaming about, you’ve been preparing for it; but when it’s there, in your hands, is a strange feeling.
It’s true it’s as much pain as it is pleasure to write a book, but sharing and giving back to the community gives sense to each word, sentence and page I wrote.
If this books changes just one life, then it is worth the pain, effort and passion it took me to put it into your hands.
You think you know a subject up until you write a book about it. Sharing what you and your interviews have in their brain is an incredible experience and journey. It’s as much an education journey for the readers as it is for the writer. For that reason, you should also try….