IoT is not technology, but vision

Our recent article on IoT prompted a rejoinder from Saverio Romeo, Chief Research Officer at Beecham Research and visiting fellow at the Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research at the University of London.

I do not see the Internet of Things as a technology. I see the Internet of Things as vision and the implementation of that vision requires several and different types of technologies. Therefore, by definition, it is a collaborative environment, multi-disciplinary in nature. I struggle to associate the word “marketplace” with the Internet of Things. The marketplace often is associated to a set of similar technologies, to a product, to a solution. In the IoT, we look about the transformation of spaces and contexts through the collaboration and integration among technologies, products, and solutions. There are many market places under the IoT. For the same reason, I do not believe in unique leaderships and, consequently, strong competition. The real advantage is being able to build ecosystem of players flexible enough to move in different contexts and spaces.

In light of this, here some comments on the articles.

  • 1) “Focus on the basics and continue to grow”. Yes, but, which are the basics? There are different basics depending on the context in which you operate. Do we mean start to deploy a small number of devices and then grow the number of devices? I would also add “focus on requirement-led basics, design, analyse, and, then, maybe continue to grow”. It really depends on the context. There is not one rule for everything. There are millions of context-based rules.
  • 2) I have not really seen Motorola and Blackberry trying to do IoT. Talking about failures is unfair. The IoT is complex. It is not a plug and play story as has been described sometimes.
  • 3) Integration is a key word in the IoT. We do IoT if we do integration and if we do partnerships. Otherwise, we do not do the IoT. A bit like security, it should be by-design otherwise we are creating hackable solutions.
  • 4) I agree with geographical diversification, but there is also geographic harmonization. There are some IoT solutions strongly local and domestic. There are some others global by definition. China is a big opportunity. No doubt about that, but the opportunity is everywhere because of the IoT objectives: transforming spaces and contexts for making them more efficient, cost-effective and resource-effective.
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2 thoughts on “IoT is not technology, but vision

  • IoT is mostly referred to as technology. And Digital. And analytics. And Clou, and “Bollockschain”, etc.pp. For me, all of this stuff is equal to a hammer, a saw, a screwdriver and a duck tape (all of which has been around for some time, btw.). They are tools and as such worthless if you do not know what to use it for (unless you believe that by buying a hammer, you instantly find a lot of nails to work on).

    No – if we start from technology and not from a business point of view, we will never get to the point. If the CEOs of this world do not understand that their business is fundamentally changing from hardware to service, from physical to virtual, from ownership to “XaaS” (and I mean in a commercial, non-technical way), from domination to eco-system – than they will be doomed. Blackberry or Nokia did not die because of a technological break-through. It was their business model shortcomings and the “too big to fail” and the “we have always done it that way and our customer love it” attitude that let to their demise.

    The fundamental business model changes require a sound vision (there, I said it) – but not about which devices you should connect. You need to paint the ecosystem you want to operate in, which partners you require, what your role in the ecosystem will be and how you have to re-design (or: Transform) your organization from classical Product-Silos to a more open and efficient operating model that caters for openness towards Ecosystems and partners, creates maximum transparency on enablers and capabilities within the organization and a lean and mostly outsourced infrastructure.

    Companies will not become “smart” by hedging some start-ups from California or introducing a Chief Digital Officer within its current structure. Nor will a company master the transformation by recruiting an armada of software developers. Nor will a small, meaningless “pilot” create any meaningful benefits. Look at most Cities that claim to be smart – and you see what I mean.

    Technology is important as an enabler – and as such has a critical role to play (similar to a good vs. a bad hammer) – but the question should not originate from the choice of a hammer but from the choice of task you want to accomplish.

    PS: China is already playing big in this field – so I doubt that western “IoT” Tech-Companies will see a big growth from there (rather been bought by Huawei and that like similar to Cisco buying Jasper and that like).

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