The Internet of Things: living like royalty?

Posted By on Sep 20, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

A top business strategists helps the Delphi Network understand a radical concept, and helps plan for the future.

Come to meet Shaun Cooley, CTO of Cisco’s Internet of Things division discuss how to tap the benefits of life-changing technology. 

When: September 20, 12-1.30pm (1.45pm hard stop)
Where: Andaz Hotel, “Private Kitchen”, Tavern Restaurant, 51F Toranomon Hills.
Cost: 7,000 yen for high quality box lunch, fresh bread, coffee, dessert and mineral water. Please pay cash at the door. Kindly bring the right change. We will provide a receipt.

Shaun is in one of Cisco “hottest seats” – responsible for the company’s long-term IoT strategy. Cisco is one of the biggest IoT technology suppliers in the world.

Luxury is a tricky concept. But imagine a life where every energy-sapping, trivial but unavoidable decision is automated AND predicted. That is one of the promises of IoT. And imagine almost everyone benefits, unlike traditional luxury.

Your work clothes are laundered and delivered automatically; your coffee is ready just as you wake up; the TV starts on on your news channel; you don’t need a key as you leave your building; a taxi pulls up just at the right time and delivers you to your first meeting without driver interaction. Your bills, salary and investment income are paid/received using blockchain. Your holidays are booked as soon as you update your calendar, and your house prepares to foil burglars in your absence. You know your net worth and your retirement finances at all times , which helps control even the small expenditures. You track your health, seeing updates of your food’s impact on your well-being.

Artificial Intelligence further smooths your life by making choices for you – thereby freeing us from the “paradox of choice”, a  main affliction of the Internet era. 

Convenience means more focus. Wooing your wife, helping the community, visiting relatives or entertaining your kids was never easier, both because of IoT’s convenience and because you suddenly have more time and bandwidth.

Then factor in the IoT impact on your work, and the total advantage jumps further.

Companies will have evolved, though. They are in constant communication with each other’s devices. Pricing becomes transparent. Companies have effectively merged to produce a new form of  private sector central planning (or is it merely an oligopoly?) – since their data links means they know everything about each other anyway. Efficiency gains thrust revenue and profits into new territory.

Such improvements in corporate efficiency and personal productivity could lead to  faster economic growth, worker productivity and consumer spending. 

But these benefits are currently out of reach for many: according to a Cisco survey, 60% of IoT projects fail at an early stage. 

One might think the main obstacle to be cost, since the scale of the required transformation would be similar to say, building a lunar colony from scratch. The cost comprises new devices but mainly communicating, storing and analyzing the gargantuan amounts of data spawned by such a smart infrastructure. Who could pay for upgrading a city? Might initial upgrades be military , in keeping with the military roots of that other great invention, the Internet, by DARPA?

Another issue is standards. Technologies thrive in proportion to the number of their users. Yet vendors want to set the standards and then monopolize revenue. How to break this logjam? How about security? The IT industry is in danger of losing consumer trust as the severity of hacking rises. Further hacking scandals might lead to draconian government “safeguards”, like in the nuclear industry. Nuclear is close to dying out in the rich world.

Perhaps most painful is the gap between managers expert in plants and machines and IT geeks, the bridging of which is essential for a successful IoT project.

The benefits, and the challenges, are huge. Shaun Cooley is a worthy guide: steeped in these issues and also expert in helping CEOs plan their strategy. Any business leader curious to learn about the IoT from a tech industry insider should attend. 

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