The Internet of Things 1.0 (No One Receiving); Now what ?


Here we are, somewhere beyond version 1.0 of the Internet of Things. I believe Eno’s song “No One Receiving” to be a fabulous commentary on the IOT initiative up to this point.

Remember those initial halcyon days ? with Google connecting everyone’s home power meter to the internet with the the promise of a bright and better future. Wow, what a glorious time to be alive it was indeed.

Seriously though, what went wrong ? why didn’t things take off from there ? What needs to be different this time around with the latest push into the cosmos of the IOT ?

In those early days, did anyone ask the consumer if they wanted all manner of electronic gizmos connected to the internet ?. It seems to me that if  IOT is to become ubiquitous AND USEFUL, engagement with consumers is crucial. IOT folk HAVE to ask questions beyond just whether or not the consumer thinks its cool. Is it necessary ? It’s pretty clear the first round of IOT fell victim to believing it’s own hype.

I recently read Francis DaCosta’s book “Re-thinking the Internet of Things”, it’s a great read and asks some tough questions about current thinking around IOT, DaCosta also provides what I believe to be a pretty good outline for a solution architecture. Is his vision destined to be the market winner ? maybe, it certainly seems more sensible than just allocating an IPV6 address to everything on the planet. On the hand, given my jaded outlook based on 30 years in the valley; where is it written that the  best solution portends market success ?

I guess my point to all of this rambling is that while it can’t be denied IOT is probably the next thing.The industry might really want to make sure they come correct this time, too many missteps might just derail the train.

The rewards are great…, and so are the risks


Back to Eno…

Update on  May 7,2014


This is precisely what I am talking about shouldn’t happen. IOT has to be intentional, well maybe not, maybe it can really be just a scattershot try-anything-and-see-what-sticks sort of affair. That might work for some, but I believe the winners, i.e., those entities who spend the least amount of time just trying something, anything, will be those who think things through.In this instance, a washer could be part of a useful IOT system if for instance you also stuff RFID chips into clothes, have sensors in the washer to read these chips, and then use that information to accurately set the wash cycle.

More to come…


Little Fluffy Clouds

I think from now on I am going to always try and include a link to a song, apropos to each. Or at least try to do so as best I can. This week, let’s run with Little Fluffy Clouds by the Orb.This song was released sometime around 1990, and was subsequently used in a VW commercial around 2000 which was when most folks became aware of it.

Wikipedia defines the cloud as follows:cloud computing in general can be portrayed as a synonym for distributed computing over a network, with the ability to run a program or application on many connected computers at the same time. It specifically refers to a computing hardware machine or group of computing hardware machines commonly referred as a server connected through a communication network such as the Internet, an intranet, alocal area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) and individual users or user who have permission to access the server can use the server’s processing power for their individual computing needs like to run a application, store data or any other computing need”. By way of this definition I can claim I had access to cloud computing resources as far back as 1983. Guess what ? that makes cloud computing older then the Orb’s song I mentioned at the outset of this piece, and in all of that time up to now, private clouds have been the coin of the realm. Gartner believes going forward this will be the case at least until 2020, or at least that is what the CEO of VMWare  claims Gartner says.

The enterprise community might find it prudent to invest in developing their infrastructure,and that goes counter to what passes for common wisdom in the “cloud” industry these days ;tuning it in ways that serve your concerns and business goals. Enable your people to develop skills and ideas which might give you the edge, the industry now calls them “doves” . Make sure however, you couple that investment with actual outcomes you can see and measure which enhance your business. Don’t get skittish just because you can hear public cloud footsteps in the distance behind you.

And then there is the intangible component of serendipitous innovation.If you have an advanced development IT team, preserve it and let it spread its wings to create, if you don’t, consider seeding one.

Public cloud providers will be driven to scale in order to be profitable while simultaneously having their margins  cut due to competition. Google was the first to shoot across that bow of engagement earlier this year (2014), ultimately that means going towards a model in support of the lowest common denominator. As an enterprise, are you sure that’s where you want to base your service/app deployment ?

You enterprise folk have been here for while with your infrastructure and expertise.Think hard before throw the baby out with the bathwater.