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What Does Internet of Things Mean to You?

Posted: August 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

G U E S T  A R T I C L E

he Internet of Things (IoT) is upon us and with it the beginnings of the biggest techno-socio-economic paradigm shift since the printing press.

So, what does IoT mean to you?

This is a double barrel question that at once begs your understanding of IoT parts and workings, and also asks you to consider its impact. The impact on you, your business and work life, your community and society – whether positive or negative, or just simply different.

First Impressions

At the outset, the answer to this question is likely coloured by your background, biases and your first touchpoints with IoT. It’s like the parable of blind men touching different parts of an elephant, each making different conclusions from partial information. For example, a hardware designer may conclude IoT is mostly about sensors and embedded software, akin to a blind man concluding an elephant is a snake by touching just the elephant’s trunk. Or, the social policy wonk may only see social disruption and risk in IoT, similar to the blind man concluding the elephant’s massive leg is a tree trunk.

These and other such siloed first impressions result in failure to see important implications of IoT as a whole, leading to ineffectual actions to benefit from or guard against IoT.

Embrace the Whole

The Internet of Things is not any one specific product type, or a market segment, or any one technology. It’s a paradigm – a way of working and being when physical objects, humans and other living things, and virtual objects communicate over an Internet based infrastructure. We will all be touched by this as users, providers of IoT products or services, or through inevitable social and policy disruption.

It’s safe to say most of us will never need to become expert in all aspects of IoT, but whatever is our specific deeper individual or group entanglement, it will surely intersect with and depend on the whole. Consequently, having nascent knowledge of all aspects of IoT will help, like a map, situate your involvement and provide insight into something new you might do. It will inevitably drive better decisions in using, delivering or shielding against IoT.

Get Educated and Design Think

We don’t live in a parable as blind men, but do possess blinders preventing us from understanding what IoT means to us. Fortunately, these blinders can be removed simply by learning more about the diverse aspects of IoT. Although the Internet is filled with IoT knowledge enabling self-guided research, a professional workshop with 360-degree IoT perspective can quickly ramp your knowledge, focusing on the important stuff you must know. It’s an essential and key tool in discovering what IoT means to you and your area of endeavour – whether in business, government, social NGO, entrepreneurship, or just beginning IoT development.

Once you discover what you need to know, you can use Design Thinking and other techniques to further innovate and solidify the application of IoT to your situation.

If you don’t know what IoT means to you, it’s time to learn. IoT is here. Be ready.


About the author:

Walter Knitl

Walter Knitl is the Principal at Praxiem, a consultancy helping clients with discovery and delivery of their innovations. He is a proponent of the Internet of Things as a lever for economic growth and social good, an organizing team member of the IoT613 conference, and curates the Internet of Things eXchange Ottawa website. Walter has a record of successful ICT product introductions at Ottawa technology companies including Ericsson, Nortel, Mitel, Ontario Centre for Microelectronics and Bell-Northern Research. His extensive experience consists of both business roles including Product Management, Account Management and Commercial Management, as well as technical roles in software and hardware R&D and telecommunication standards development.

Twitter: @praxiem
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Copyright information: The article has been published with permission from the author. Title picture is copyright of ASQ Ottawa Valley Section and not associated with the original writing.


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