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Collaborative innovation in IoT: From vision ambiguity to mission clarity

Call it the internet of things, big data, analytics, machine learning, AI or simply the connected world — all encompass a core principle: the intelligent integration of information and communications technology systems into our daily lives’ via machines, devices and sensors through intelligently scalable and secured infrastructure.

This “intelligent” integration is creating the industrial and technological revolution that stimulates enhanced productivity, higher efficiency and better decision-making processes for better outcomes. Eventually, it aims to achieve a “noble” objective, improving the human condition in one way or another.

IoT is just one element of a broader digital transformation that is creating social and economic changes in our society. It introduces a shift in the traditional business and service models while generating new business value. This transformation touches most of the sectors impacting our lives, such as living environment, mobility, transportation, healthcare, farming, agriculture, safety, security, retail, energy, urban development and smart living, to list a few.

The IoT industry has evolved at a rapid pace over the last decade. Those who have witnessed the fast growth of this industry recognize — and could accurately predict — how it will drive further growth. The actual double-digit growth rate of the global IoT market is very attractive for economy development.

In the mobile networks world, regional incumbents and global operators are moving strategically in full speed to gain as much market share as possible and to secure new revenue streams. Some operators are more advanced and taking the lead, while others are just following the trend. Those leading mobile operators are already developing very successful and mature IoT business with a clear vision.

Meanwhile, giant global industry, OT and IT players, regional corporations and other vertically oriented enterprises are also competing, leading the race and moving quickly to invest and contribute to the success of IoT, each from their own business angle and know-how domain.

From a global perspective, the IoT evolution is also being strongly embraced by the developing world. We see exemplary countries taking serious and committed steps in setting the stage for national roadmaps to accelerate IoT adoption. In some regions, it is outperforming the developed world in terms of annual growth and technological advancement.

New initiatives, policy reformulation, regulation support and programs from governments and institutions around the globe are also positively contributing to the acceleration of IoT adoption.

However, there’s one key question continuously being asked globally: What are the success factors that will further drive the growth and lead to faster adoption of IoT?

Moving from an ambiguous vision to a clear mission

There is no simple answer to that one million dollar question, but I can offer some possible options.

First, let’s go back to the basic definition of IoT. It’s the integration of different building blocks with various technologies to create a useful technology that intelligently addresses intrinsic issues in our society, fixes a problem, enhances productivity or improves an outcome.

The more collaborative the innovation, the greater the chances of success.

This is what enables industry leaders to stand out of from the crowd, moving from vision ambiguity to mission clarity. It is critically important to reshape this collaborative innovation around technology and business innovations, hand-in-hand together in the same one cycle.

Technology innovation triggers business innovation which, in return, feeds back to a better technology, creating a healthy, successful innovation cycle. Business and technology innovation grow together and have to be strategically cultivated with the right path for top-line growth while generating a positive value. This type of innovation doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a shift in the organization’s mindset and leadership style. Also requires better conditions in order to mobilize more investment in today’s new age of entrepreneurship.

Entities across the IoT ecosystem need to collaborate and develop in conjunction with each other, focusing on real collaborative partnerships.

Yes, collaborative innovation is a major driving force for the IoT evolution. Local, regional, cross-border collaboration and knowledge exchange are fundamentally important.

We have seen a growing number of IoT alliances and forums built over the years. For example, in Europe, the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation was initiated by the European Commission in 2015 with the aim to strengthen the dialogue and interaction between IoT players and to contribute to the creation of a dynamic European IoT ecosystem that would speed take up of IoT. This is just one of many examples across the globe.

When it comes to implementation, there are key IoT segments that demonstrate and often experiment in collaborative innovation. Smart cities are the perfect fertilized ground to cultivate the collaborative innovation model. Smart cities act as the ideal IoT digitization platforms to demonstrate the value of collaborative innovation, with human well-being in the center, bringing together private and public sectors, the latest technologies and government-backed. This will not only test the various technologies, but surely will test the partnership structure and operation model, as well as validate the business case for each partner.

Flexibility is needed to take collaborative innovation from the pilot to result stage, where both human lives are improved and business objectives are met. More importantly, the innovation cycle requires a strong vision that is backed up with a deep and solid understanding of the market needs, technological advances and the global IoT industry dynamics.

IoT has plenty to offer those who will adopt collaborative innovation on a day-to-day basis and are open to creating a new, innovative business culture cross-technologies, cross-cultures and cross-borders. In end, collaborative innovators will be among the leaders in this exciting space.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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