According to Research firm Gartner 21+ billion “things” will be connected by 2020 EXCLUDING Laptops, Phones, Tablets and PC’s….. and presumably excluding some 7 billion human beings… The “Internet-of-Things” will become the “Internet-of-Everything”.
One might argue that this scenario actually makes the above question whether to go digital or not a useless one. The world, your environment and you WILL become digitally enabled!
The real question for you as a business person, professional or employee is, whether you are consciously making choices to adopt, leverage and embrace digital technology for the opportunities and benefits it offers.
Alternatively will you stay in denial, opposed or just unaware and already claiming the victim role, letting “IT” happen to you?
I deeply believe in positive thinking and would like to strongly encourage you to consider examples where digitalisation, that can take many different forms, is really not only making good business, but also improving life.
Think for example of the fact that your domestic thermostat is connected with a sensor measuring the temperature outside, so your central heating will adjust its efforts and energy consumption to produce the desired in-house temperature.
Think of the cardiac patient feeling safer since her doctor can remotely monitor her pacemaker and act on issues before they become problems.
Think of the valve in a petrochemical installation that measures its own vital signs, communicates with the control room when deviations are detected and can shut down an entire sub-section of a plant automatically before things get out of hand.
If you think about these or other examples, it is important to look not just at the technology, but to combine your imagination, creativity and business sense to visualise the value that could be created when you start connecting devices, their information, people and decision points in your business.
Think of value in a broader sense than just direct cash. Can your processes be made safer? Can environmental impact be reduced? Are there any health benefits? Etc.
When you can relief pains or create gains for customers and other stakeholders, there is value creation that could be the basis for a business model.
I look forward to meet you in the Digital Age!