We need to approach the IoT differently before it can deliver its full transformative potential.
Everyone knows that the Internet of Things (IoT) is huge. There are hundreds of millions of connected devices and counting – but around the globe there are, so far, only a handful of examples of companies who have really made a success of it.
To make an IoT implementation successful, there are many factors organizations need to consider; some of them obvious – like change management, leadership and sponsorship – but more importantly what we could call the SAD considerations:
- Speed of technology
- Asymmetry of information
- Digital twin and IP protection
Speed of technology
To really benefit from IoT, we need speed – across the full stack of technology.
The vast data lake that IoT devices generate demand cloud-processing power, with AI to process it and RPA (not people) to execute the operations quickly. All of these things are beyond human speed:
- IoT is the medium to establish the data flows and capture the value networks of things, devices and sensors.
- AI recognizes the patterns of IoT interactions.
- RPA increases the asset utilization and operational excellence by responding to pattern deviations in milliseconds.
- Blockchain enables real-time accounting of indisputable, secure transactions.
Asymmetry of information
This is ultimately how organizations make money out of IoT: using IoT data, organizations can build a bridge between themselves as a product or service provider and the customer.
Let’s use a ride-hailing platform as an example: the asymmetry of information here is that the platform knows where both customers and drivers are, and the app is the bridge that connects them. However, in this example, the asymmetry only lasts minutes before the transaction. Where organizations need to get to is the process of building that asymmetry over weeks, months and years.
For example, we will soon see car tires being manufactured with sensors inside them. After their service life of 1 to 3 years, the tires are returned for recycling, and the information the sensors have gathered about their usage and performance in, for example, different climates, will re-educate the tires’ digital twin. This will provide huge insight into how to make the product better, and opportunities to make more focused products for different geographies.
Digital twin and IP protection
IoT technology allows us to learn more about the world around us than ever before, record this experience and build a full digital twin to simulate it.
This is critical to businesses in the future because the data collected will be the basis of competitive advantage – and it needs to be protected. At the same time, organizations need to decide what to keep locked up, and what to share with or sell to customers, partners and even competitors.
In the IoT-based digital economy, no organization can be an island – everyone must exchange information with partners and competitors. Even major players that gather and control data via software, apps and cloud platforms need to buy the kind of service or product they believe will make theirs better, richer, faster.