The IoT, guaranteed success or hit and miss?

Written by on September 7, 2015 in Opinion with 0 Comments

Roller Coaster Extreme Close upThe IoT (now, we don’t even need to say what the letters mean the first time we use it in an article) is fuelling a boom. At the moment, the boom is mainly boosting conference organisers, trade show hosts and research houses. They feast on the figures. Connected healthcare is estimated to be worth zillions, connected cars are attracting investment of trillions and the connected home is at the centre of the web, the hub from which we will operate. And worth quadrillions.

Really?

It actually seems that we are in danger of being swept along by the tidal wave of figures and hype. We are, to use one of our favourite Gartner descriptions, approaching the top of the incline of inflated expectations. And, like the roller coaster that the hype cycle (out-dated as it may be) resembles, we have a feeling that there is about to be a pause, an intake of breath, a whitening of knuckles and a sudden swooping as the IoT plummets into the trough of gloom, or whatever it is called.

It would be wrong, of course, to cram the whole of the IoT into one roller coaster. The IoT is more a set of industries in separate cars. There is healthcare, followed by connected cars, then the home, cities (which probably take up three cars by themselves), the enterprise (looking safe in its suit), and the rest of the cars are full of toothbrushes, flower pots, fridges and a bunch of weird devices all beeping away.

These cars will separate – and not just for the reasons we have already given – but because some will succeed, some will take a lot longer to succeed than others, and others will fail and disappear.

In fact, most of the IoT initiatives that are causing such excitement now will take much longer to catch on than we would like to think.

Picking which roller coaster cars will avoid the trough of disillusionment and which will take the plunge is not easy.

Inertia will play a big part (regional variations will apply), made bigger by privacy issues. In the UK, for instance, a connected home is actually a spooky thought, not a comfortable one, particularly knowing that Google or someone is watching everything you do in your home.

It is also security that will put a damper on progress.

Ultimately the IoT will be an invisible thread that weaves sense throughout a wide range of applications, devices and industries. But we must not kid ourselves that the ride from here to there will smooth, swift and simple.

The way will be strewn with regulators playing ‘catch-up.’ Stories of healthcare hacks and privacy breaches will be jumped on by the same press that evangelise the IoT. Arguments will break out about the best route for connected cars to develop. They already are. There will be damage and delay.

The IoT will become a huge, invisible, barely discussed part of our lives, for sure. But it will not be as easy as some would have us believe.

While we wait, why not get a lesson in how to fly a drone (and not land one on tennis players’ heads) or follow this irreverent and very funny site, that falls squarely into our own IoST, where ‘S’ equals Silly.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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