The Internet of possibilities

The recent technical analyses issued on this knowledge platform have covered top trending technologies: Blockchain and AI. Further identifying core components of those systemic innovation leads to look at the Internet of Things. Latest numbers and trends further characterize the initial analysis driven on that topic: “The Internet of things: of what, exactly?“. All those connected and data-rich sets of devices, networks and platforms to analyze data come together with the promise of intelligent insights and decision-making. What type of applications would be required to turn this diversity of data into valuable insights?

Through the Internet of Things, global connectivity and communications not only cover a greater volume and variety of data, they are also determined by new usage and contexts. The right analytic skills and secured, flexible infrastructure will be required to implement IoT within businesses. Especially as a growing number a companies and respective customers are looking to invest in IoT, being aware of processes and timescales for development, transforming concepts of work and productivity. It is only at the cost of managing challenging cultural and infrastructural transformations that IoT can turn possibilities into tangible benefits.

The Internet of usage, variety and volume

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One of driving trends for IoT identified by technical experts is the changing usage of connected devices, outlining new information flows that need to be taken into account for data analytics. As personal and professional data can be carried in a variety of places, it becomes increasingly important to understand the context behind information sharing. This dimension of IoT provides technical and skills challenges to IoT infrastructure and data analysis, including security and privacy.

<<Indeed, in last month’s CIO Jury, 83% of tech professionals reported that their companies allowed wearable technology in the workplace.>>

Read more: “CIO Jury: 50% of IT leaders will invest in IoT in 2017“, Alison DeNisco, TechRepublic

The format in which data is shared also poses numerous constraints to making sense of data collected through IoT. The amount of data shared by machines and humans is not only increasing, but a majority of it is unstructured, according to IoT specializing firms. As a result, developing tools to structure data and process them continuously at lower efforts becomes a priority for IoT players.

<<Only 15% of data today is structured; 85%—generated by humans and machines—is not.>>

Read more: “The Internet of Things“, Wind River

Beyond usage and data structure, the volume of data shared across the globe will also require robust and scalable infrastructure to carry information at the speed of real-time analysis for data-based decision-making. According to innovation experts, a ten-fold increase of connected-devices per person will drastically increase data volume in a short amount of time. There are rapid transmission and connectivity improvements to achieve by then.

<< In 2015, there were an estimated 15 billion objects connected to the internet; in 2020, there will be 200 billion. That’s 26 objects per person on Earth.>>

Read more: “5 infographics on the potential of the Internet of Things“, Kelvin Claveria, Vision Critical

The Internet of speed

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Being aware of IoT development processes enables to manage expectations for business partners involved in financing IoT startups. Some of these professionals have been able to measure the end-to-end development time for connected devices, and align their support strategy accordingly. They also help framing a time constraint for currently identified technical challenges affecting IoT success.

<< “We know it takes two years for a connected device to be developed. We incubated our first startups on 2015, so logically first products are entering La Poste range of services”, according to Vanessa Chocteau. >>

Lire Plus: “French IoT saison 3 : La Poste ouvre l’appel à candidatures“, SYLVAIN ARNULF, Usine Digitale

Another measurement of IoT success was analyzed by experts through its penetration rate within businesses. While there could be a question on the need for “every” industry and business to use IoT, journalists have outlined existing trends towards a democratization of IoT, with rates exceeding a “innovator” only usage, tending to reach a “follower” level. The projection of IoT usage in the short to mid term confirms this trends.

<<And, a 2016 Tech Pro Research study found that IoT devices were being used or implemented for use in 32% of organizations, and planned in another 35%>>

Read more: “CIO Jury: 50% of IT leaders will invest in IoT in 2017“, Alison DeNisco, TechRepublic

As a “chasm is being crossed” to reach the “mass” market of IoT, it is important to consider the technical advances put forward by major businesses, which may have contributed to such success. For instance, leading providers highlight the volume of transactions per second their platform can generate, answering an identified need to access enterprise-grade platforms to develop applications for IoT. Others build entire factories to monitor the use of space by workers and smartly manage offices, transforming currently known experience and concepts of work and productivity. What applications will then enable businesses to make sense of the volume of data hence rapidly processed?

<<The Fabric blockchain can process more than 1,000 transactions per second and has the necessary features to be used by large enterprises to build their applications, IBM said.>>

Read more: “IBM launches enterprise-ready blockchain service“,  Anna Irrera, Reuters

<<Inside Vinci Energies “Factory”, a building in Paris La Défense business district, more than 120 connected devices cover 2,000 square meters of offices in which 85 people work.>>

Lire plus: “Mon voisin de bureau est un objet connecté“,  SYLVAIN ARNULF, Usine Digitale

The Internet of economic growth?

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The long term view of IoT enables to estimate the systemic importance of connected devices for businesses, even though the “elements” needed to fully benefit from this innovation still require better infrastructure. Analysts forecast a mass usage in three years time, which is in line with the development time outlined earlier in the analysis. From cultural change to businesses’ ability to create applications that make sense of fast changing data, identified yet challenging transformations are still required to unleash IoT’s full potential.

<<Gartner predicts that more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of IoT by 2020.>>

Read more: “CIO Jury: 50% of IT leaders will invest in IoT in 2017“, Alison DeNisco, TechRepublic

<An infographic from the insurance company AIG estimates that the IoT’s economic impact will reach $14.4 trillion by 2020, ushering in a “new economic age.”>>

Read more: “5 infographics on the potential of the Internet of Things“, Kelvin Claveria, Vision Critical

The most critical cultural change to occur may be those relating to customers and the interactions brand will drive with them. What quality of interface and intelligence will be required to make sense of human interactions with technologies and data privacy? What agility will it take to align those interactions with a wide variety of personalities, cultures and technical backgrounds?

<<By 2020, 70% of data will be generated in locations other than the United States and Western Europe.>>

Read more: “The Internet of Things“, Wind River

The economic promise of IoT is quite parallel to the technical challenge posed by data in the coming years. The expectations are high and demand an infrastructural, cultural and systemic transition which relate to the amount of data set to be exchanged and stored by 2020. The multiplication factor ahead of growth rates may similarly apply to the human and technical requirements so far outlined to take IoT beyond the state of possibilities.

<<There will be a 50-fold growth in stored data from 2010 to 2020.>>

Read more: “The Internet of Things“, Wind River

Through our last loop, we had identified an action from our most recent “InnoMetrics“. The action is summarized below.
By outlining cultural and infrastructural requirement needed to optimize benefits of IoT for businesses, this is how technological experts inspire intelligent:
  • What cultural shift towards adaptability do they inspire to develop the digital economy closer to end-user reality? Innovation experts outline needs for security and privacy to be better taken into account given new usages implied by IoT, as well as the human and cultural ability required to make sense of growingly diverse data generated across the globe.
  • How do they broaden their approach to management, talents and leadership through various cultures? Business experts outline the global reach of IoT, from a cultural, sectorial and infrastructure viewpoint, while developing solutions through and with startups to gain further agility. Market leaders and their partners trial their solutions in live, open-innovation oriented ecosystems.
  • How did difficult recovery from economic turmoil and disruption affect IoT? IoT is looked upon by analysts as a potential growth engine, while also driving social and cultural questions of the digital disruption occurring across sectors. 
  • Who are experts and leaders engaged? They are agile startups and market leaders from IT and business intelligence sectors, as well as companies and service providers from field areas such as construction and banking, posting sectors.
  • Which successful strategies already deliver commercial and business value across sectors? Analysts outline signs of a democratization of IoT, with short term estimated implementation rate going beyond the “innovator” only segment. Journalists also outline necessary adaptation and cultural transition needed to meet security and privacy standards demanded by potentially reluctant users, the other half of the market. 
  • How do they drive this shift within businesses as well as through funding partners? Startups share experience and learning on product development cycles with funding partners to manage expectations, while technology analysts outline the economic and social potential impacts of IoT.

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Photograph: Nirina Photography

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