The Internet of Things (IOT), also in some desperation known as Internet of Thingamajigs,[i] keeps people puzzled in both business and IT. Organizations still are miles away from IOT’s realtime 5A Quintessence, wasting billions of dollars every year.
There won’t be an Internet of Everything any time soon but a new understanding of IOT is gaining ground to reflect the convergence of IT, OT (Operational Tech) and a loosly defined all-encompassing Internet of Things. Optimized integration and interaction are the goals: bridging the gap between Information Technology, Operational Technology, Production, Logistics, Maintenance, and Mass Personalization.[ii] New IOT’s huge business opportunities are based on this Transformative Tech Triad, best visualized by this self-explanatory brand logo:
Internet father Vint Cerf correctly pinpoints the IOThingamajigs as “Internet of Things and Sensors and Actuators,”[iii] or everything Internet-connected between and beyond IT and OT, including Wearable Computing, Personal Care & Medical Devices, Connected Cars, Smart Buildings, Smart City solutions, Smart Logistics, the so-called Industrial Internet of Things, the Internet of Things & Services, Industry 4.0, Machine to Machine communication (M2M), and so on.
IOT’s Preemptive Strike Capability
In this context, the guiding illustrations below explain how many organizations today already save and earn millions of dollars a year, so watch them carefully and make sure you get the message:
Besides the four exemplary sectors above, there are plenty of opportunities in the context of for instance healthcare, buildings, cities, agriculture, retail, and security:
A Logical Development
65 years ago, with world’s first e-business computer LEO I – short for the Lyons Electronic Office of the iconic UK catering and food company – organizations began setting their eye on markets being aided by Operational Technology (OT) on the plant and product side, and by Information Technology (IT) on the office side. Both automation types had existed in mechanical form for a long time – plant automation longer than office automation – but from the mid 1950s on rapid change set in. Office automation developed fast as it became IT and digital, while industrial computerized automation emerged more slowly as the control part of expensive machines.
With the rise of mass media in the 1960s, digital technologies proliferated, contributing greatly to market and business development by bringing together supply and demand. A few decades later, the Internet e-commercialized the world as organizations and individuals became digitally connected on a peer-to-peer multimedia basis, albeit not yet always on and anywhere. When that started to happen, marketing took hold of all digital channels that had emerged after the Internet bubble burst in March 2000.
From that Year Zero on, one after another Web 2.0, smartphones and tablets, mobile apps, Big Data, the Cloud, and the sensor/actuator-enabled Internet of Things took the stage to join forces in the biggest intelligent omni-channel platform ever. Engaging customers, events and machines alike through data Acquisition, Aggregation and Analysis (IOT phases A1, A2, and A3); thereafter the Assignment of tasks (A4) and finally concrete Action (A5) – all these quintessential phases now can be realized within split seconds, realtime that is. Today, the technology is there but utilization, integration and interaction are lagging behind, which means that millions of dollars are being thrown away.
PLM meets CRM: product + operation + customer
The whole Internet and sensor/actuator enabled omni-channel multimedia dynamism is an all-encompassing development. It means that after IT, consumer marketing and logistics – the Internet of Things started in 1999 with RFID at Procter & Gamble – also OT and production assets are joining the platform. In the center are Internetworked products and services. Essentially, PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in a broad sense are blending together, enabling smart Mass Personalization through the intimate combination of Product Leadership, Operational Excellence, and Customer Intimacy, the three foundational Treacy and Wiersema categories from 1995. IT, OT and this loosly defined Internet of Things have now reached their intimate interaction phase. This is what we call the IOT Tech Triad.
The Transformative Decade of SMACT
IOT Triad’s developing business technology story is pretty straight forward. In 2000, right after Kevin Ashton had launched his RFID IOT at Procter & Gamble, the Internet bubble blew up and a brand new calendar era began. From there, businesses in Olympic four-year periods have jumped and will continue to jump digital breakthrough S curves: from Social to Mobile to Analytics, Cloud, and Things – in one word SMACT.
In January 2010, IBM’s CEO Sam Palmisano proclaimed the Decade of Smart which now tangibly develops as the Decade of SMACT. The five constituents of the forceful SMACT foundation are equally important as they mutually maturify each other over time into one interwoven cyber-physical platform.
Grab Your Piece of this PIE (Pervasive Interaction Engine)
Business-wise, SMACT’s Social component equals the well-known Social Business trend. Mobile equals Always On or NYPD (Network Your Pet Device). Analytics is short for data-driven Business Intelligence plus Artificial Intelligence: Big Data + BI + AI. Cloud is the technology notion for Secure Services Anywhere. And connected Things means everything Internetworked beyond IT and OT.
APIs and mobile apps are knitting this rich business technology ecosystem together, where Personal and Pervasive Computing come together and cross pollinate one another to form a formidable full-circle Pervasive Interaction Engine (PIE) that expectedly will generate over a trillion dollar in revenue for business and government worldwide.