Are You Ready for the Internet of Things?
No matter what business you are in, there is a wave of change coming that will impact what you offer your customers and how you offer it.
I am referring to the Internet of Things (IoT).
If you are in business today, you cannot ignore this. It will have implications for you and now is the time to consider what they could be.
Up to now we have grown use to our computers and technical devices that are driven by ourselves. We tell them what to do and are either delighted or frustrated with the results. But the basic equation is person to machine.
In essence, we do the thinking; they do the doing.
The next phase of technology that is already visible on our horizon is the Internet of Things.
Simply put, the basic equation will change from person to machine to machine to machine.
The Internet of Things as described by technical blogger Joel Lee is “a network of multiple devices that communicate with each other without human involvement.”
The name emerges as a result, with Internet meaning connectivity and of things, meaning devices.
You are likely already into this world without even knowing it.
If you wear a FitBit when you go out jogging or walking and it sends a report of your daily progress to your smart phone, you are using the Internet of Things. If by using your computer or smart phone you can turn on the lights in your home or adjust the thermostat to warm or cool your house for your arrival you are also using it.
What it will do as far as business is concerned is create an amazing pool of useful data on how our devices are used and the most accurate ever insight into consumer behavior.
For example, the manufacturer of washers and dryers will be able to tell how often you do your laundry, the temperature of the water you use, the amount of detergent you use, and how long your drying cycle takes.
Just as a phone will never in our lifetimes just be a phone again, but is now a camera, an email reader, and a centre for our favourite games, no device will ever again be looked at with its current dimensions.
The positive side of this is that we should be able to meet and delight our customers at a level never conceived in the past. We should be able to analyze what they do and make it better and more efficient.
We should also be able to reach out and help many people to live longer and better lives. The IoT will bring increased use of such things as heart monitoring implants, built-in sensors in automobiles, and monitors for delicate ecosystems around the world.
On the dark side, of course, it raises issues of privacy and proper use of data so that it is not used to take advantage of consumers. It will also create challenges for the storage of increased data and the efficient analysis of it.
It will be fascinating to see how our Internet of People merges into an Internet of Things and to measure the implications of devices talking to each other.
And their march into our everyday life is coming resolutely forward. Gartner, Inc., the technology research and advisory company, estimates that by 2020, there will be nearly 20.8 billion devices on the Internet of Things. ABI Research puts the number at 30 billion in the same time period.
The analysts at Pew Research suggest that embedded and wearable computing devices on human beings will hit us full force by 2025 and that the results will be highly beneficial especially for medical devices and household appliances.
These predictions give us ample power to fuel our imaginations and to start considering now how what we produce within our own businesses will be impacted by this massive new wave of technology.
No machine will ever be able to do all our thinking for us. I am confident of that. But they will be able to remind us, to guide us and to program some of our routine actions. We must consider the impact of this change on our daily lives as well as our ways of making a living.
Researchers are already categorizing five dominant areas of our work and life that will be most impacted by the IoT. These categories are smart home, smart wearable, smart city, smart environment and smart enterprise.
Will you be ready for the impact of the IoT in all of these areas?
Paula Morand, CSP is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and bold impact. 23 years, 25,000 clients, 19 countries, 11 books, former radio personality, 10x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
To check out Paula’s book, “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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