I recently attended the second annual Internet of Things World Forum in Chicago, IL. In the opening keynote presentation, Wim Elfrink, Cisco’s EVP of Industry Solutions and Chief Globalization Officer, referenced Gartner’s latest version of its“Hype Cycle,” noted that IoT (the Internet of Things) has climbed over the past year to its peak. Yet, on closer inspection, the enviable place IoT is enjoying within this technology-evolution framework is actually named the “peak of inflated expectations,” a precarious high point where individual dazzling success stories of early adopters and visionary speculation are outshining wider market reticence and slow early adoption. In the model, this magical time is usually followed by a “trough of disillusionment,” then — if the market responds favorably to second and third-generation tech — the “slope of enlightenment,” and finally — if wide market adoption takes place — a “plateau of productivity.”
The conference certainly provided many vivid illustrations of success and the potential of IoT, but will this fledgling industry make it through the inevitable coming trough, and climb “high and right” on the chart with predicted tens of billions of connected devices, as was enthusiastically espoused by Elfrink in his opening remarks?
In Short, Should We Believe the Hype?
John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, made it quite clear when I asked him whether he sees IoT as a rising tide that will float all economic boats, or more of a competitive, zero-sum game? His response was that in the connected future, there will be winners and losers as adoption of pervasive connectivity assumes a larger role in the future economic and social success of companies, cities, and even entire countries. Granted, Cisco is heavily invested in IoT and what they call IoE (Internet of Everything, which includes people) and is betting on its success, but the examples of companies and cities around the world that have embraced the idea of connectedness give us glimpses into its tremendous value. Let me share just a couple of telling examples presented to the Forum’s participants.
Read the full post at Wired.
Peter Hirst leads the team of professionals who partner with clients and faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management to develop, design, and deliver innovative executive education programs for individuals and companies.