The Internet of Things – Slow But Steady? – an IoT World Update.

We’ve only just started the Internet of Things World event in Santa Clara, and already there is an air of real-world pragmatism. Many I’ve spoken to say there’s been progress. Just that it’s slower than they thought it would be. 

  . . . But that’s good. It means IoT is growing up.

Much of the news about the Internet of things, or IoT, is that it’s growing up. Maybe a ways from adulthood, but still, growing up. That means the inevitable growing pains. Some projects have worked well. Others not well at all. The IoT Institute actually does a pretty good job of cutting through the bull and giving us real life experiences. Growing pains and all.

I’ve talked before about how it’s as much about the people, processes and data/analytics as it is about the technology. The message is starting to come home. That message and others were coming through on day one of IoT World at the Santa Clara Convention Center, California.

And it’s all about business outcomes. Something that I’ve always been a strong proponent of. Bruce Sinclair, President of Iot-Inc, talked about how that is so true. He also talked about the need for vendors to work together. Something that is starting to happen, but my advice is we should guard against too-many eco-systems with too many differing objectives and goals. Bruce talked early on about the underpinning being the IoT platform as a foundation, and also about getting closer to the customer’s business model as being paramount. That’s how you focus on business outcomes.

It was a theme reiterated in a later panel titled ‘Uncovering the true IoT potential…’, by Coca-Cola’s Chief Innovation Officer, Alan Boehme: “We need to partner more with tech partners. [Coke] brings the business models which is our [the customer’s] role, and the technology partners bring the technology models, which is their role”, he said.

The realistic theme ran through several panels and presentations with the optimistic Ericsson/Cisco prediction of a few years ago that there would be 50 billion ‘things’ connected to the internet, now updated to a more realistic 20-30 billion. A symptom of ‘slow-and-steady’, but still a big number!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be reporting back on some of the panels and presentations I sat though, but wanted to end this first-day introductory post on a positive note gleaned from the Samsung speaker, James Stansberry, mentioning that the ‘trustworthiness” of IoT has risen in the past few years. It’s now over half-way at 60% That’s while the general trusting of governments and other things has fallen over the same few years.

And, finally, I saw those impressive “Yuuuge” numbers like $10 trillion added to the world’s GDP, $4 trillion of that new opportunity, 5+bn of connected devices, and 4bn connected people by 2020. Maybe. But if not, the numbers will still be pretty “Yuuuge” I’m guessing!

Well, as promised, I’ll be finding out more about what’s going on and getting to the bottom of the business outcomes of some real customers. Stay tuned!

What do you think? Feel free to comment!