Connected devices: En-‘lightening’ at Microsoft Ignite

By Switch Automation • December 1, 2015

“50 billion connected devices by the year 2020.” A bold statement – but is it likely to come to true?

Our CEO was recently invited to present at Microsoft Ignite AU and given five minutes to ‘enlighten’ a brilliant group of tech-minded folks, where she shared her view that IoT has the potential to let us live longer and healthier, manage our environment better and eliminate mistakes and inefficiencies to create entire new economies.

In our our CEO’S opinion, the ‘Smart Grid’ failed to deliver on any of its bold promises. Consumers consider energy data to be somewhat boring; and energy prices simply aren’t high enough to inspire action. Consider–who would want to connect their appliances to the internet so that utility companies could manage when and how we use the dishwasher? Smart Grids don’t exist because we’ve yet to find a group of people willing to give up control of their home to their local utility providers.

Meanwhile, consumers are adopting IoT tech in droves – think connected devices like smart phones, wearables and smart TVs. So why is it that consumers embrace IoT adoption en masse while the B2B sector lags behind?

The enterprise sector still needs three key elements to create massive uptake in a new technology:

  • The infrastructure
  • An application layer
  • The right customers

Large tech companies ensure the IoT infrastructure is in place. Companies like Switch are building application layers. But the third cornerstone, the customer, is also key.

The customer will drive a huge shift in doing business in traditional industries. The incumbents in our industry, for example traditional management system suppliers, won’t drive the change. They simply aren’t motivated to change business models or upset the status quo. Instead, they tend to highlight roadblocks such as network security and data privacy.

Customers aren’t fooled by this strategy however, having compelling economic reasons to investigate and adopt new technologies. When the early adopters’ case studies hit the market, showcasing transformative new ways of managing large business and realizing billions in savings across their operations, then we will see mass adoption. That’s when we’ll see 50 billion connected devices, and that will only be the tip of the iceberg.

So thanks to Microsoft Ignite AU for giving us the chance to ‘enlighten’ our industry. What’s a perfect storm without lightning, anyway?

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