Published Juha Turunen Feb 20, 2017

It is been estimated that by 2020 there will be 50B IoT devices. This is about 6 – 7 IoT device per person in the world. Everything will be digitized. Level and sophistication of automation and machine reasoning will increase to cover routine work. Overall change will further accelerate through collaboration of humans and Artificial Intelligence systems.

Global economy has entered a new phase and it is Intelligence of Things economy (IoTe). Intelligent devices exchanging analyzed information within purpose-build service ecosystem used by Individuals. Individuals consume services that are embedded to their lives. To distinguish from current IoT devices, IoTe devices and solutions are directly communicating with each other to provide more autonomous system level behavior.

The underlying technology is developing all the time and at speed. We are in early stages of on-going change from post-industrial information age to Intelligence of Things economy. Some say that the world economy has entered the 6th Kondratiev wave, which typically last about 40 – 60 years. So we are in the 1/6th of the IoTe evolutionary revolution.

Now we are in very early stages of IoTe and companies thing possible solution based on post-industrial paradigms and business models. The transition to IoTe will be gradual and enabled by new IoTe software to implement new business models.

The reason

We at Symbio want to present a point of view, how IoTe is developing.  We want to explore and learn with the readers, which direction IoTe is going. To do this I will publish set of point of views on the topic and let  see where it takes us. Co-creating what’s next.

The main reason for this point of view are the new innovative business solutions and models. So far we have not seen that many new business models and IoTe is seen elsewhere, but in real life.

Internet technologies and AI is developing at speed. The technology is changing the world. Of course, it’s not the technology per se, but what the technology enables companies and individuals do. Companies just have formulated their business strategies to compete in digital world. Many of the companies are just purchasing IoT platforms or even developing their own platforms; when the IoT scenery is already evolving towards purpose build IoT ecosystems. Many of the current IoT platform features are already commodity and bear competitive advantage as much as a email systems. We want to discuss also how to implement IoTe solutions.

The recent IDC study notes that there will be number of special Internet of Things platforms that have more business or functional focus. We see that there starts to be enough proof points, that leading companies are already creating IoTe business assets in the form of IoTe business platforms and less focus is on technical solutions. The focus has shifted from technology to solutions and business.

The IoTe definitions

Let’s have couple of definitions so we have common language. The definitions are aimed to create structure around purpose build ecosystems or business platforms.

IoTe ecosystem is a network of companies and their devices that are joined via business platform to perform defined and designed services for joined users (aka customers) or customer’s devices.

A (IoTe) business platform is set of business rules, business services, reasoning algorithms and data representation standards implemented by (IoTe) technical platform. It is the business platform where IoTe value creation happens. For a individual company one of the key question is how close to the center of business platform one aims to be. “Early mover”- companies are aiming to dominate their markets by introducing their own open IoTe business platforms. The business services are for user of the business platform for initiating services and for support purposes.

A (IoTe) technical platform is a technology stack covering device connectivity, security, upgradability, support for AI, Blockchain, support for cloud execution (IaaS) and API to access the technology platforms services. The technology platform is necessity and has great importance in terms how easily new functionality, devices, companies and 3rd parties can be introduced in addition to scalability.

The ecosystem can be open, where companies and users can join ecosystem openly and the specifications are openly published. Open does not mean necessary free. AirBnB and Uber are open ecosystems. The ecosystem can be also closed, where ecosystem founder can decide who is out and who in. Is the ecosystems open or closed, is matter of strategy and objectives, not technology.

Possible future direction

Increasingly solution are implemented as a distributed software and the software will run on IoTe devices. The IoTe device can for example connected car, equipment or consumer device with own processing capability. The software that these IoT devices will run is more complex. AI is developing also and more IoT devices are running AI algorithms. Blockchain enables development of commercial and trust layer of Internet. IoT product cycles and customization will go higher gear, because softability of the products allows. The final is edge computing, because IoT devices are getting more capable, thanks to Moore’s law. In addition, the machine-to-machine communication will take place instead of machine to cloud communication.

Below is depicted IoTe future direction and a example of the impact and change. The current IoT solutions make sense and they have business case. This is all good if the scope is a single device, but more accurate and customer focused solutions can be build, if information from various sources and devices can be used. Same time as the computing moves to edge, the solutions start to exhibit autonomous behavior. In some situations like autonomous vessels and other transport solutions edge computing is requirement. So we can estimate that for example today’s predicative solutions are just beginning.

Instead of having a device radiating data to be used for remote purposes, one see that fleets or sub-systems can start acting in a more adaptive and corrective fashion. In the industry, we can implement smart plants and factories, where the production can be adjusted according exceptions. Anyhow, end of the day somebody need to fix the failed equipment. In cars this kind of solutions, could mean that driving routes are re-calculated and departure times rescheduled in the case of exceptions. In personal training future solutions might reschedule our practice to avoid sports injuries or make better results based a person’s body measurements. We think that there is no limit to useful services, because ecosystem players augment each other’s data, which in the used at the edge to deliver intelligent solutions.

Conclusion

If you made so far, I thank you. To conclude we are in the beginning of the Intelligence of Things economy, which finally delivers IoT promise and introduce new working and business models affecting our daily lives.

IoTe is providing more new business opportunities. Companies that have own product lines will benefit by being able to collect more information how and why products are used. There is also great business potential to combine information emitted by separate products to delivered system level solutions. Companies that are able to bring together information from various sources and are able to build purpose build IoTe business platforms are on position to become category winners.

More in coming Intelligence of Things blogs. Stay tuned.

Juha Turunen