When will IoT become predominant?


n.io CPO, Sven Gerjets

I was asked an interesting question on LinkedIn this week and thought I would share my response…. “When will IoT become predominant? In what form/firms will the hyper connected everything effect the average consumer on day/day basis? Where does nio fit in the development of the #4thindustrialrevolution? Your industry friends at CXOGLOBAL100 – Greg Raymond CEO”

This is a great question with so many paths that could be followed to answer it. First IoT is so overused it has become a bit meaningless. My view is that IoT at it’s core is just an extension of smart systems that we have been working with for quite some time. We now have the capability to instrument anything, which allows us to decouple our solutions from our office, computers and smartphones. These new connected things create an opportunity for us to extend our smart systems with unlimited reach which is both great and horrifying if you have old slow legacy systems that make up the bulk of your “smart system”. Most of what is happening today with IoT is not at the capability that it should be due to the limits of either legacy systems, legacy mindsets and limited IoT platform capabilities. I see a few things having to change for us to really impact the way people work, live and play.

– Legacy systems have to be servants to new use cases vs the master. As long as companies have legacy system that are extended to create modern IoT use cases there is an artificial governor that will limit the art of the possible. Starting from scratch is ideal but most companies don’t have that luxury without creating disjointed customer experiences. Innovation platforms need to be implemented that loosely couple to legacy but are unencumbered by it. This innovation platform will allow companies to test create amazing new use cases.

– Real Time is critical to meet the full potential of IoT or the #4thindustrialrevolution. Repurposing client server and cloud models is as limiting as legacy technology. The real interesting use cases will require real time, low latency compute to take place near the devices and people. Much of what is happeingin in IoT today is simply an extension of big data patterns. Incremental changes in computing models won’t get us to the exponential change referred to Professor Klaus Schwab.

– Platforms will have to have distributed capabilities. Centralizing all data and functions will not support the most interesting IoT use cases. Functions and logic will have to sit in the appropriate place in an architecture, where that function matters most. It won’t be enough for platform companies to try to move the platform to the edge, they will have to rethink their architecture to ensure full contextual processing can happen in ultra lightweight nodes in the most relevant place in the architecture.

– Agnostic platforms will be required to support use cases we have not yet imagined. Many use cases that are being implemented today are either siloed systems like a machine that is connected to the cloud, or are built to support a specific set of protocols or hardware that are designed around today’s business verticals. Things will really get interesting when companies start connecting devices and customers across legacy verticals and varying protocols. We have to be unencumbered to innovate. IoT platforms will have to be protocol independent and device agnostic and easy to integrate with existing signals and systems. This will drive new partnerships or new competitive encroachment that we have not seen before.

– Finally, I think we will have to think about signals in a different way. Today most solutions are sending all signals back to the cloud for analysis, processing, and reporting. With the massive spike in connected devices we will have to consider which signals are ephemeral and process them as they matter but discard them once they matter no more. Where as other signals that add historical value can be kept, processed and learned from.

At nio we are using these principles to build our platform and to digitally transform our customers… And best of all we are having a lot of fun doing it. Thanks for the interest Greg.”