IoT: The Move from Vision Ambiguity to Mission Clarity

Whether it’s the Internet of Things, Big data, Analytics, Machine Learning, AI, or simply the connected world, all encompass one core principle: the intelligent integration of ICT systems into our daily lives via machines, devices, and sensors on intelligently scalable and secure infrastructure.

A Noble Objective

This “intelligent” integration is creating the industrial and technological revolution that stimulates enhanced productivity, higher efficiency, and better decision making processes for better outcomes.

Eventually, it aims to achieve the “noble” objective of improving the human condition in one way or another. IoT is just one element of a broader digital transformation that is creating social and economic changes in society.

It introduces a shift in the traditional business and service models while generating new business value. This transformation touches most sectors that impact our lives, including the environment, mobility, transportation, healthcare, farming, agriculture, safety, security, retail, energy, urban development, and smart living.

The IoT industry has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Those who have witnessed the fast growth of this industry recognize and can accurately predict how it will drive further growth. The actual double-digit growth rate of the global IoT market is very attractive for economic development.

 A Competitive Landscape with Leaders and Followers

In the world of mobile networks, regional incumbents and global operators are moving strategically and with full speed to gain as much market share as possible and to secure new revenue streams.

Some operators are more advanced and are taking the lead, while others are just following the trend. The leading mobile operators are already developing very successful and mature IoT businesses with a clear vision.

Meanwhile, the industry giants, OTT and IT players, regional corporations, and other vertically oriented enterprises are competing, leading the race and moving quickly to invest and contribute to the success of IoT, each from their own business angle and know-how domain.

From a global perspective, the developing world is strongly embracing IoT evolution. We see exemplary countries taking serious and committed steps to set the stage for national roadmaps to accelerate IoT adoption, with some regions outperforming the annual growth and technological advancement of the developed world.

New initiatives, policy re-formulation, regulation support, and programs from governments and institutions around the globe are positively contributing to the acceleration of IoT adoption.

The Drivers

However, one key question that’s continually being asked globally is: What are the success factors that will further drive growth and lead to faster adoption of IoT?

There’s no simple answer to that million dollar question, but I can offer some possible options for how we can move from an ambiguous vision to a clear mission?

First, let’s go back to the basic definition of IoT. It’s the integration of different building blocks with various technologies to create a useful solution that intelligently addresses intrinsic issues in society, fixes a problem, enhances productivity, or improves an outcome.

The more collaborative the innovation, the greater the chance of success.

This is what enables industry leaders to stand out of from the crowd, moving from vision ambiguity to mission clarity. It is critically important to reshape this collaborative innovation around technology and business innovations, hand-in-hand in the same one cycle. Technology innovation triggers business innovation which, in turn, feedbacks to better technology, creating a healthy successful innovation cycle.

Business and technology innovation grow together and have to be strategically cultivated with the right path for top-line growth while generating positive value. This type of innovation doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a shift in organizational mindset and leadership style. It also requires better conditions to mobilize more investment in today’s new age of entrepreneurship.

Collaboration is Key

Entities across the IoT ecosystem need to collaborate and develop in conjunction with each other, focusing on real collaborative partnerships. Yes, collaborative innovation is a major driving force for IoT evolution. Local, regional, and cross-border collaboration and knowledge exchange are fundamentally important.

We’ve seen a growing number of IoT industrial, regional alliances and forums being built over the years. One good example in Europe is the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation. Launched by the European Commission in 2015, it aims to strengthen dialogue and interaction among IoT players and contribute to the creation of a dynamic European IoT ecosystem to accelerate IoT adoption.

When it comes to implementation, there are key IoT segments that practically demonstrate and experiment with such collaborative innovation.

Smart cities are the perfect fertile ground to cultivate the collaborative innovation model. Smart cities act as the ideal IoT digitalization platforms to demonstrate the value of collaborative innovation, with the human well occupying the center, bringing together the private and public sectors, latest technologies and government backed-support, all acting together.

This will not only test various technologies, but surely will test the partnership structure, operation model and validate the business case for each partner.

Flexibility is needed to take the collaborative innovation from pilots to the results stage where both human lives are improved and business objectives are met.    

More importantly, the innovation cycle requires a strong vision backed by a deep and solid understanding of market needs, technological advances, and global IoT industry dynamics.

IoT has plenty to offer for those who adopt collaborative innovation on a day-to-day basis and are open to create a new innovative business culture that crosses technologies, cultures, and borders.

The collaborative innovators will be among the leaders in this exciting space.

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