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What’s Beyond IoT?

April 9, 2015 - 4 Comments

My travels last week took me to Tokyo for a presentation at the New Economy Summit, a gathering of several thousand entrepreneurs, industry professionals and students, organized by the Japan Association of New Economy (JANE).

Cisco leads JANE’s Internet of Things (IoT) Value Creation Working Group, which involves 27 member companies seeking to define new business models enabled by IoT and to identify challenges which might stall deployment in Japan.

NES Tokyo Wim Keynote Crop 040715

Our estimate of the potential value at stake for the Internet of Everything (IoE) in Japan  over the next decade is nearly $870 billion US dollars, in key verticals including public sector, manufacturing, financial services, energy, and transportation.

At NES, I joined an esteemed group of speakers that included industry luminaries from the U.S. and Japan, investors, and government representatives. Our engagement began with a small group meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who shared his vision for a connected Japan driving a new culture of innovation.

In my opinion, exponential innovation will require intense and open collaboration; co-development; rapid prototyping and experimentation. If you do one thing chances of success are 5%; twenty things, a 60% chance; fifty things, a 90% chance. As my fellow speaker, Drew Houston, CEO and co-founder of Box so aptly stated in his remarks, “Having no fear of failure is the key to success.”

We’re entering into a decade of experimentation driven by an explosion of startups. It’s a time of collaborative innovation to develop new business models and new sources of revenue – a time of co-invention and rapid prototyping – a time of learning quickly, discarding the things that don’t work and continuously moving forward.

I don’t believe any one company or organization can do this alone. Success requires partnerships that can attempt many things in parallel. Linear innovation produces incremental results. Exponential innovation can deliver exponential results and help companies, organizations and countries capitalize on the opportunity that IoE can bring.

What do you think?


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  1. The future of IoT transcends consumer, enterprise, industrial operations, space travel, geo exploration etc. and Japan has had a long history of building core competencies (at global scale) in several industry verticals which intersect with IoT. Here’s a short representative list:
    1. Automotive manufacturing – Toyota, Honda
    2. Imaging systems – Canon, Ricoh
    3. Computing and high tech – Toshiba, NEC, Fujitsu
    4. Mass transit systems – Hitachi
    5. Space systems – Mitsubishi
    6. Motion control systems
    7. Quality process improvement engineering
    8. High density construction

    Very few nations can boast of such breadth and depth of integrated capabilities in a multitude of core industries. Now is the opportunity for Japan to extend these competencies and knowledge to other nations via organizations such as JICA etc. and help realize the vision of technology for humanity.

  2. Cisco has a tremendous opportunity to play a significantly influential role in the evolution of IoT vertical markets and specifically the industrial aspects of it; by going deeper into the automation, control and supervisory domains of industrial networking.

    It should not fear any potential conflict with incumbent industrial automation and control systems suppliers. The market is large enough to absorb exponential innovations and additional players.

    2 suggestions which come to mind are:
    (a) Develop embedded technologies for moving objects (people, things and goods). Think about the safety aspects and not just IP connectivity + analytics.
    (b) Participate in the development of successors to GSM-R (mobile technologies for rail infrastructure).

    Both of the above are adjacent markets for Cisco, which have the potential to unlock potential value at stake for Internet of Everything (IoE).

  3. You said “I don’t believe any one company or organization can do this alone. Success requires partnerships that can attempt many things in parallel.” — Agreed, the upside opportunities for IoE are limited only by our *collective* imagination; tapping the vast unstructured ecosystem of potential market participants. That said, a community-powered approach to develop new open-source IoE apps should extend beyond organizations, and include individual contributors.

  4. good post