Automotive sensing system concept. Autonomous car. Driver assistant system. Adaptive cruise control.

What the IoT?!?

The Internet of Things.  The phrase that no matter how often I read it, still feels like a ball of cotton wool in my brain.  What do you mean the Internet of Things?!? 

This hotter than hot topic is making my head hurt and leaving me feeling confused and perplexed!  Now I get the ‘things’ part – I own a smartphone, a Garmin running watch, have a Nest device for my heating and some fancy sensor lightbulbs that my husband insisted on buying.  Tick.  And having worked for over a decade for a global IT company, I get the internet.  Boom.  But when I look up what IoT is, the descriptions given may as well be in Japanese (which despite studying, can only say four words).  There is endless talk about smart buildings, smart cities, smart anything really – but we can’t seem to be smart about saying simply what IoT is and more importantly what on earth it means.

How about making it real and not talking to everyone as if they are an IT wizard or a company CIO.  Then I wouldn’t have to nod and smile politely pretending to understand.

How about shifting the narrative towards value and what it can do for you or a business rather than saying 

“The Internet of Things links the objects of the real world with the virtual world, thus enabling anytime, any place connectivity for anything and not only for anyone. It refers to a world where physical objects and beings, as well as virtual data and environments, all interact with each other in the same space and time.”

I mean what the ?!?

Where has all the straight talking gone?  And making it relevant to the audience?  Whilst the futuristic vision of a smart city or smart building may sound exciting, “smart” isn’t what business executives are looking for.  The want to increase pipeline, save costs, enhance efficiency, increase customer satisfaction, increase revenues and improve customer experience.

So maybe instead of describing the IT capabilities of IoT: the devices, connected together, talking, collecting and sharing data, we should instead be interpreting the technology and the exciting opportunities it presents.  Making the story real, making sense of it and showing it’s tangible value and benefits.

Let’s talk about how the sensors on product lines can increase efficiency and cut down on waste.  How IoT can help a business increase visibility and control over valuable business assets or track and monitor vehicles to help manage your fleet and ensure driver safety.  How IoT can you find a car parking space in busy areas, link up your home entertainment system and use your fridge webcam to check if you need more milk on the way home.

That way, as well as understanding that IoT is a giant network of connected “things”, I will actually understand and embrace how life and business with “things” is about to get a whole lot smarter.

blurt – giving your business a voice.

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