No more men-to-men

May 29, 2014

megafonThe Internet of Everything promises enormous potential and a lot of us are excited. I believe it is needed to save the planet, to provide the safety and security we want and to bring the efficiency needed to afford healthcare and other important things across the globe. The Internet of Everything will touch all of us and our pets. It will be in our homes, offices and cars and more or less everywhere else. It is one of the things that can help make our common future bright.

But in order to ensure that the Internet of Everything is created in a positive and reasonable way we need a lot of people involved. And by excluding women already from start we are shooting ourselves in the foot. I have been joking for years that M2M means men-to-men, but we’re now beyond the point where I can joke about it anymore. The last M2M conference I attended had only men presenting and just 2-3 women in the audience, like most of the others I have been to.

In my closing remarks I underlined the seriousness of this issue and asked everyone in the room to immediately start hire and promote women in their organizations. I believe that is the only way we can fix this embarrassing problem – taking personal responsibility in order to collectively move our industry forward. If we don’t we will collectively prevent rapid and prosperous growth in the Internet of Everything.

I attended a tech meet-up on wearable computing in Stockholm a couple of weeks ago. Wearable computing is definitely technology which will become very important onwards, both for consumers but even more so in wellness/healthcare. We were almost 100 excited people in the room listening to an interesting presentation by Narrative. I had a great feeling of being at the right place with the coolest people on earth. The ones who will bring our next wave of innovation, export and wealth. Interestingly enough we were people from all over the world in the room and almost half of us were women! That’s the future of Internet of Everything!

Find some great women, hire them, promote them! Now!


Connected watches and glasses are not the next big thing

May 11, 2014

Sony-Smart-WatchM2M  or Internet of Things is not an industry. It’s more of a process describing that we are continuously connecting more things to the Internet. And it is a way to segment markets like how many dishwashers are connected and how many SIM cards are used in other things than phones and pads. Connecting things is not a big deal by itself but the data collected over the connection can make a huge difference when it shows up in systems for decision-making, process management, document management, monitoring and alarms, security and so on. It is when the data becomes information in relevant systems that the value appears. This is why I believe the IT industry must play the key role in pulling together the complete applications delivering the value thus enabling the investment decisions. A complete application always include the collection of data (sensors, networks, gateways, etc), management of data (i.e. making useful information for the application) and distribution (i.e. integration, app development, etc). Three distinct parts and at least three different industries.

This is well understood in the enterprise world which also explains why it takes some time to get going. But make no mistake – it will happen in all industries, it will bring massive effects and will redefine many businesses. GE is probably the best possible example of a large enterprise who identified this early on and got going with massive investments and rapid results. The future of the Internet of Everything is created by doers not politicians, thinkers, analysts, researchers, etc. The best approach is to keep eyes open for interesting examples from real life. Not only from your own industry. Identify and select problems and challenges relevant for this technology and start prototype and test. An agile approach with rapid prototyping and real-time testing with users is the way forward.

Up until now we have seen a lot of early successes by companies doing it all. There are companies like that in every single country. This is the obvious winning approach to overcome severe complexity in a new market. But this will change rapidly and new partnerships and value chains will be created to bring solutions to customers in different industries. This is how the IT industry solved issues before and this is why they are needed to participate in building the Internet of Everything. One area where we will see this change very fast is connected accessories like watches, wristbands, etc. A couple of years ago companies started to launched their wristbands and connected watches with an application or service attached. Good start to get to market but obviously not the right way moving forward. We want services where you can connect your devices of choice which allows you to also manage your data properly and distribute the information as you like.

Nobody expected the wristbands to become the new smart phone or pad, but sometimes I meet people who believe smart watches or Google Glasses is the next big thing. I think that is way off. These things are accessories and play in the same league as keyboards and mice. I think we will see the brands focus more on the services maybe with a branded device to show the way. The devices will be more standardized to fit all major services and we all will have to look for the next big thing somewhere else. I just received a 50$ quote for 500 units of a no-brand connected watch which looked quite nice and sophisticated and had decent features and specs. These accessories are about to become commodities and will soon show up in the weekly flow of deals in your inbasket. Data is the gold of M2M – that’s where the value is and that’s where the brands will want to be.

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