Next week we kick off the fourth IoT World Forum in London (IoTWF), Europe’s fast-growing technology capital.

IoTWF is my favorite event.  The opportunities that IoT creates, the sheer creativity and innovation that it opens up, and most of all, the great people committed to it, not only inspire me but also make me feel part of a special team that is going to change the world in a good way.

Almost every aspect of business, and many elements in our lives, can evolve and improve with IoT.  Take, for example, the venue for this year’s IoTWF — the historic Tobacco Dock.  It represents the spirit of digital transformation and is an excellent example of how technology is changing our world and invigorating business. Built in 1811, with the sole purpose of storing tobacco, today the Tobacco Dock is a modern meeting place, supported by one of the capital’s most technologically advanced IT infrastructures.  Tobacco growing itself has transformed with the rest of the agriculture industry.  Looking at how IoT transformed agriculture today seems like science fiction compared to how it was when I was a child.  The use of data generated by sensors throughout growing and processing has substantially improved product quality, time to market, and environmental impact.

One of the best things about my role at Cisco is hosting the IoTWF. Each year I meet incredibly dedicated and passionate people from around the world who are galvanizing this industry and truly changing their companies, cities, and possibly the world with their ideas. We share our challenges and best practices, and we dare to imagine together.  It is a community where you feel passionate (and not at all ridiculous) about discussing random innovations like connected toilets, as we did at the first forum in Barcelona.  I can’t wait to see what we learn in London, but I’m even more excited about what we will unleash when we go back to our working environments!

We’ve hosted some truly amazing speakers in the past, and I’m particularly excited about this year’s agenda. We will look at IoT from every perspective: the opportunities, the challenges, the innovative solutions, and the people involved across industries.

  • Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins will kick things off by sharing his insights on the IoT industry, the incredible opportunities behind it, and how Cisco, its partners, and customers are navigating in today’s highly dynamic environment. Chuck is one of the biggest supporters of the IoT vision and its promise to change the world.
  • We will hear from industry and thought leaders, futurists, and IoT innovators in the public and private sectors, as well as the technical experts who are taking IoT to the next level.
  • We’ll learn about smart cities, smart manufacturing, smart transportation, the transforming workforce, the IoT value exchange, and the power of the network effect.

We also will be sharing IoT success stories that are sure to inspire new innovations.  My favorite story is about Caterpillar. The Caterpillar team, who visited IoTWF in Barcelona, was so inspired by the Rio Tinto case study that they were on stage at the next IoTWF in Chicago to tell their new IoT story that developed as a result of their participation in the forum – possibly inspiring other companies.  And best of all, the IoT community will come together to continue clearing the path ahead for everyone.

Since 2013, this event has set the tone for industry in how we think about the IoT in business – and in our lives. I remind myself each year that the forum is not just an event, it’s a journey. We first planted the seeds of community in Barcelona with a small group of innovators, connecting a new industry to change the world. The following year in Chicago, our community grew as we talked about the IoT projects, innovations and the many possibilities being realized.  In Dubai, we focused on the need to awaken, activate, and accelerate to scale the possibilities.

Next week in London, our focus is to bring it all together — building the necessary ecosystems that will reduce the barriers and empower the possibilities!

If you are not able to join us in London this year, you can follow the conversation on Twitter with #CiscoIoTWF and #IoTWF.  You will also be able to view keynote presentations and speaker videos following the event at IoTWF.com.



Inbar Lasser-Raab

No Longer with Cisco