Is It Time to Stop Overthinking The Internet of Things?

What is Holding the True Potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) back?

By Ed Ickowski, EVP of Sales and Business Development at T+ink

Have we been overthinking what the IoT really is, how vast it could be? Have we overstated the value it will create, and how scary it could be for those who wish to protect their privacy?

IoT is still in the early stage of the “hype cycle” regardless of what certain companies are pushing you to believe. At the same time, there may be some innovative and obvious things we can do when we step back and stop worrying about building a rocketship to Mars ─ and start finding intuitive, innovative and inexpensive ways to add “sensing” to a lot of things, big and small.

But we are human beings. One thing I’ve come across in my career in the technology field is that a very common and often destructive activity is over thinking every situation ─ being a perfectionist. This can lead to “analysis paralysis” and death by a thousand cuts of fear ─ of risk ─ and change.

Thinking before we act in our lives and in our businesses is a good thing, but it becomes extremely counter productive when we spend our time running every scenario and don’t actually get things done. This can cause business to stall, people to stand still, and others to suddenly realize that they have sabotaged good things that could have happened had they trusted their instincts more and thrown their hats into the ring.

It is true that the IoT is growing ─ the chart above is from the NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association in the US) based on Cisco data with both backward and forward looking views:

But there are so, so many skeptics.

For example, in September of this year another industry association reported that only a third of IT executives believed the IoT would improve their bottom line over the next one to two years (according to a survey of several hundred people by CompTIA).

Well, I am focusing my time on the 1/3 who do believe.

They are very likely the IT leaders, the CIOs, who work from creativity and not fear.

If the IoT is slow, it’s likely due to a few reasons:

1. Fear of the unknown
2. Expensive sensors which make tracking lower value assets impossible to justify
3. Lack of understanding that it is content and context─ not “things” per se ─ where IoT adds value.
4. Data and analytics.

I’ll close my first post here on Thinking Things Thru with a link to an outstanding post from This Moment: Success of the “Internet of Things” Depends on Content

It is all too easy to fall into the trap of overthinking minor things in life. It happens in business too.

One way to get out of the trap of analysis paralysis is to set short time-limits for decisions. Learn to become better at making decisions and springing into action by setting short deadlines.

Another way to liberate your thinking is to simply decide that you wish to be part of the future of everything. Making a conscious choice to join the innovators, the pioneers, the often fearless, and those people and business leaders who are rewarded for taking risk is to take risk! Educated risk of course, and when it comes to what the IoT can do for your life and your business? Jump into the discovery from a place of curiosity and joy, not skepticism or fear.

Wonderful things will happen.


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