This blog is my third on Internet of Things.

I began by discussing how the IOT is both like, and unlike, the Internet. It is critical that you focus on that which differentiates the IoT from the Internet and refineyour expertise, skills and partnerships to capitalize on those differences.

Then we discussed the innovators and the operators.  There are two basic groups of IoT use cases. One is centered around enterprises and entrepreneurs looking to invent new IoT products or services, and the other focused on those looking to optimize their operations

The third concept I’d like to share is one that starts to create some level of relationship and hierarchy around technology. But really, this point is less about prioritization and more about understanding how the pieces of your infrastructure puzzle fit together to bring you the best big picture the IoT has to offer.


The IoT is the next concentric circle around the cloud. And of course, it is populated by things. But it’s also populated with people.

All the work we are doing now in the cloud, analytics and mobile is significant, and there is immediate business impact for all of it. And we typically have a very clear perspective on why we do it, how we justify the investment. And until now, the reason for why we have done it hasn’t been immediately focused on the IoT.

But the truth is, whether we know it or not, when we make those investments in cloud, analytics and mobile infrastructure, we’re laying the foundation for the IoT.

And that foundation work is vital, if often under appreciated, because everything else depends on the stability of that layer. Ask any architect, and she’ll tell you how important a solid foundation is to the overall integrity of the structure, to the whole. Everything else depends on it.

And we have evidence all around us that poorly established foundations will ultimately unsettle even the most beautifully designed architecture.

So when we build our Internet of Things, we must build it on a robust and highly secure foundation. In other words, we need to balance our focus on “things” with an equal focus on the people who use those things.

And if we don’t, we can expect the structure to ultimately crumble.

Without the right foundation, the right infrastructure, our Internet of Things is a house of cards waiting for a puff of wind to come along and rip it apart. But with a strong, stable foundation, we give our IoT structure the opportunity to stand straight and tall as a beacon for those that follow in our tracks.

Now where does all of this leave us today?

We must have the courage to undertake the journey, to be bold in our actions.  (Yes, I did write a book called “Get Bold”)  There’s no question that we’ll need to adjust course, optimize, iterate. We also know that we’ll need to have the right partners with the right level of expertise and experience and broad level of capabilities.

And we’ll need to keep moving down this path. And when there is no path, we must be willing and able to forge the way and blaze our own.

Because while the IoT is arguably defined, at least in part, by the new treasure troves of data now being generated and made available to us…

… it’s also certainly defined by a constant, unforgiving and irrefutable demand for innovation.

And the key today is that, as your competitors arrive at your milestone of innovation, you’ve already moved again. Because you never stopped innovating. You are, and must be, absolutely relentless in your pursuit of innovation.

We must all learn to translate this ever-growing global network of data and ideas and “things” into something that makes your business more profitable—and then make sure we’re in a position to accommodate it. Something that helps your city run more smoothly. Helps you save more lives. Helps us all answer that question, “why bother listening?”

So let me know your approach to IoT!!!