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Tim Kannegieter

What are the levels of IOT Maturity? What are the factors that contriubute?

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Hello all,

I noticed this press release from HCL announcing a "Three stage IOT Maturity Framework". The three stages focus on process efficiency, then building new revenue streams and finally "business transformation". I get concerned when I read these kinds of things because we seem to be getting ahead of ourselves. Most organisations I know are still grappling with what it is, or how it is different from M2M/SCADA. I worry that seeing such frameworks can put IOT firmly in the fad camp.

However, I do see boundless opportunity for IOT, but slow approach to maturity will have more to do with mastery of integration across a whole range of technology and realizing the synergistic benefits of doing them in an integrated smart way. I would have thought a better framework had to do with highlighting the different elements that contribute to maturity. Having said that, I wonder what they are. Judging by other kinds of frameworks they might be something along the lines of:

  • Technical mastery - ability to integrate multiple technologies.... the levels might start with connecting sensors to cloud, and progress through to machine learning etc.
  • Innovative culture - ability to recognise business and customer led opportunities for IOT lead innovation - that could start with the process improvements and progress through to the change of business models.
  • Leading with data - Actually doing something useful with data as most organisations are pretty bad at this. 
  • Partnerships - ability to create partnerships with the multiple players in the industry. Different levels could relate to in-house capability and how this is linked to research organisations and technology leaders.

These are just a few ideas slapped down quickly. Perhaps you have a completely different view or would like to add to the list of factors. What are they?

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Hi Tim

I'm also wary of long manifestos that seem to have as their object the 'look at me!' objective.

The IoT will take off only when there are customers.

The best market research is a signed purchase order.

As for manifestos, these are easy to spot: your brain goes to sleep mid-sentence. That happened just a half-a-paragraph into this press release.

So I think you are on the right track here, by looking for the triggers that answer the questions of 'how indeed will IoT projects fire up?'

That is, who's footing the bill? (because IoT product development is a darned expensive business)

Cheers

Andrew at MEA

 

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There was some discussion about defining maturity at the last meeting of IoTAA Work Stream 6 (Startups). While this example wasn't mentioned, there was a general acknowledgement that it's a difficult task. I'm pleased there also tends to be a general understanding that there is a chicken-and-egg challenge in that the IoT market is quite immature, so proudly claiming one's own maturity is misleading at best. I think you're getting at the same thing - until customers are informed enough to write confident purchase orders, any one claiming a level of maturity is just waving their peacock feathers.

With so much still subject to debate, perhaps a framework with more quantifiable aspects might be attractive: dollars saved via the IoT; regions covered by LPWANs; density of things; hours of uptime; number of IoT startups; percentage of active participants in an IoT association. But you might be on to something - while there might be a heap of technical capability ready to come online, the IoT can't be considered mature unless people are actually paying for Smart Parking installations, or autonomous farming equipment, or Smart meters or whatever.

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Thanks Heath,

What you say about Parking installation sparks the notion that there is a parallel maturity of individual organisations, industries and society in general that needs to occur. e.g. I'm hanging out for the day I can look up on my app where the free parking spots closest to my destination are and to book it as I drive with my voice activated system in the car...

Also, I wonder about your mention of density of meters. There is an assumption that just about everything that can be instrumented, will be instrumented, eventually. But what do you think the realistic density will be when the various sectors are "mature".

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On 14/03/2017 at 2:15 PM, Tim Kannegieter said:

...there is a parallel maturity of individual organisations, industries and society in general that needs to occur. 

That's it - it almost doesn't matter how mature one's technology or technical capability is if it is not well aligned with purchasing expectations.

 

On the density matter, I had in mind a way to measure the sophistication of installations - there's plenty of connected things already, but the great promise of the IoT is that it can be done at significant scale do to technology advancement. So if your garage door talks to your car, that's M2M, but if light switch in the house is remotely monitored, then that's further along the IoT path. Coarse, I know.

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Another maturity factor in this is the relationship between consumer and industrial IOT. While I have seen quotes that industrial IoT will be around 70% of the market, uptake of consumer technologies, often precede and drive industrial uptake. Think about how consumer has driven smart phone uptake etc. I assume consumer uptake will be what drives down battery life/costs to make industrial applications more pervasive. 

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Yes, interesting. The article talks about the different players in the IoT industry, being device providers, operators, platform providers, system integrators and application providers. The key message I get from it is that no one player will actually lead the industry effectively. So it comes down to effective partnerships. This is probably one of the challenges facing IoT, because there are so many players in this space that traditionally have never worked together before. In particular the IT world is beginning to collide with the Engineering world. Companies like Cisco, Verizon and IBM have traditionally never been big players at the nuts and bolts level of industry but this is coming and it's a little scarey. I predict a plethora of joint ventures, acquisitions and a shake up of the market on a scale we have never seen before. 

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