Have a habit of spending lesser than what you earn.
Do appreciate at least THREE people every single day.
Never hesitate to accept your mistakes. Feedback is the way to improve and get better hence never shoot the messenger instead hug him.
Don’t make fun of someone’s dream. If people wouldn’t have unrealistic dreams, you are probably not living the life that you have today.
Sometimes, give a chance to a person to get ahead in life who is standing behind you.
See the sunrise every day whenever it’s possible.
When it is extremely urgent then only borrow anything from other people. Do ensure to return that in minimum possible time.
If you want to know something from somebody, do ask twice with discretion.
Never allow your enemy and debt to get bigger.
Always have faith in God. Never forget to pray, as there is so much power in prayer.
Live in present. That’s why it’s called a gift.
Mind your own business.
Time is the most precious. Make use of it wisely.
Whatever you have, you should learn to be happy with it.
Never say something bad about someone. Talking ill of anybody is like a hole in the boat. Whether it’s small or big, it would sink the boat for sure.
Always think positive. The law of attraction does work.
Every person is born with at least one talent. All you have to do is to identify and bring that talent in front of the rest of the world.
There is nothing called small work in the world. Every work is great. For instance just think about the work that you are about to perform, if you don’t do, what is going to be the impact on the rest of the world.
Take risks in life in order to be successful. Not taking risk itself is the biggest risk in life as you are not going to get anything
Read at least a book every month
“Don’t take life too seriously, you are going to die anyway“
I never knew that upbringing of a toddler will be that much laborious and tedious task furthermore requires maximum utilization of your saved energy, patience and quick decision making to say “Yes” and “No “all the time.
But today I was in so much hurry to wind up all my routine household chores and sending my son back to school, the reason behind the lady who is one among my favorite female personality I have ever met and her name is “Anupama”. Whose meaning in Sanskrit is “Incomparable”,” excellent” and she has truly justified with her name. Anupama’s presence in my life is sometimes as a mentor, many times as a true companion, and all the time as my motivational guru or speaker with whom I never hesitate to share anything yet. Though she is quite older to me, her symbolic big brown eyes on a radiant oval-shaped face and thick long waist-length hair are peculiar oomph attributes to enhance her impeccable personality.
She reached my place at the expected time. I gave her a warm welcome and took her inside the living room where she made herself relaxed on my blue color cozy sofa fully loaded with big cushions. I could not stop gazing at her until she intervened by asking to have a glass of water. I just moved to the kitchen like a jet speed and brought some homemade snacks, fruits, water and tea whose preparation was already done prior to her arrival at my place as I don’t want any interruptions while having our conversation. While placing all the stuff on the table, I was amazed to see that she is still smiling with “breath a sigh of relief” as if she has accomplished some herculean task. She is good enough to sense my rising inquisitiveness and reverted “It’s good to postpone sometime!!”Now this reply was more bewildered before I could say something she continued, “I knew it Prem is a wonderful guy”. Now this time my astonishment has reached a peak just like mercury of BP instrument suddenly rises up while measuring. Before I utter a word she gasped a long breath and started…….
Prem was my neighbor and I always treated him like my younger brother who also loved to see dreams and thought of their fulfillment. His cheerful smile and “Happy go lucky” behavior made him different in the crowd. He had always been a meritorious student as well as a good athlete built up who hardly skipped any extracurricular activity organized by our society or his school. His parents admitted him at one among the famous and prestigious school in Mumbai whose handsomely fabricated fees was more than sufficient for the livelihood of three to four middle-class family for an entire year. Initially, all went goody-goody like a typical Bollywood masala movie where everything gets changed once the villain’s entry is made. There was a villain in Prem’s life also but who that I would tell you later on.
Prem’s father who had been associated with a Private Bank as Managing Director post and earning hefty package with lucrative Bonus and a substantial amount of power and perquisites. Prem’s mother is a practicing lawyer in the High Court and trustee of an NGO which is mainly working for socially deprived women and small kids who are abandoned by their parents. As per my knowledge she had been working on high profile cases with an intense legal issue. Prem’s parents had been a consistent topper of their batches and doing very well in their individual profession. Prem was a very loving and adorable kid who never troubled so much to their family and always spread a beautiful smile on his face. He quite often visited my home whenever his parents were out of town regarding their work, to have some chit chat with me and playing with my pet “Tiger” a German shepherd dog. However I never found him complaining about his parents regarding their busy schedules and unavailability on various occasions like his Birthday, Parents meet at school or Annual function. Although they kept on enquiring towards his academic performance, attentiveness in the class, and most important the “Mark Sheet”. My flat was adjacent to his flat on the 22nd story segregated by thick wall thus I could hear frequent sounds of reprimanding and screaming from his flat which assuming their personal matter I usually ignored. In our duplex apartment, there is a beautiful sea-facing balcony with a sight of green hills and waterfalls in rains. It has always been my favorite place to have morning tea and sometimes evening also, as I usually reach home late due to work pressure. We both had shared the same balcony with concrete partition and now it is fully covered with overspread of Money Plant branches. There was always some mixed exotic fragrance of flowers flowing from their balcony to my balcony and soothed my mind and body, I must say good fragrance not only works like a tranquilizer but responsible for physical well being also maybe that’s why aromatherapy is so much prevailing nowadays. Prem’s mother told me about his fondness for flowers and very often brings different flower plants at home. But I would call such practice as a passion bringing great rejoice and ecstasy on his face even he asked me also to adorn my balcony with some variety of flowers something that he called Petunia, Geranium and, and Fuchsia. On the contrary, I find myself fumbling while pronouncing those flower species but I purposely turned him down by saying tiger will spoil them because I don’t want any issue hampering his studies and gave a clue to his parents. Till 9th standard, all went well but the moment he promoted to 10th situation got altogether altered. Prem’s parents started enforcing immense pressure and strict rules to be followed pertaining to his studies. From the beginning of the year to the end, he spent most of the time in a coaching institute, self-study and confining himself in his room.
Finally, Board exams were over and Prem’s Mother came to my place with Box of sweets, she told me Prem has scored 85% in Board though she was disappointed with his performance in science and maths who were the culprit of escaping his overall aggregate to cross the border of 90%. Eventually, he had been forced to opt Science & maths stream in 11th standard to achieve a sheer dream of their esteemed parents to become an IIT engineer. But it is said, “Reluctance and apathy will only take you frustration and anguishment” that’s what had seen with Prem now. A volcano had started forming inside him and waiting for an opportunity to erupt. Now I barely got a chance to see Prem or interacted with him. But even those few acquaintances were enough to assume his deep pain. Afterward, I was also busy with my next seminar which was going to be held in a different city and simultaneously was badly tied up with my New Book Launch. However whole year had passed and as it was anticipated he got marks on a threshold to move into the next class. On the other hand, as per my information, Prem’s parents maintained good repo with school authority and staff which could be the reason he had not been failed. Now again the battle started with the 12th Board exam and I still could not understand why Board exams are over-exaggerated and overstressed by us. From now he was completely different Prem whom I knew earlier. His rugged hair, puffy eyes, and dull face were indicating like he has not taken a good sleep for long. Parent’s pressure and expectations were increasing day by day as if he was going to fight the IIIrd world war. Contrarily my work commitments and continuous seminar made me so engrossed that I have almost forgotten about Prem. Finally, Board exams were over and result declaration Day arrived as expected he got failed in science& maths subjects. Although the result was not shared with anyone but loud scolding noise mixed with frustration and muffled whimper revealed everything. I saw Prem’s parents leaving home in anger and agony. However, I could not dare to go to Prem’s house and console him but trust me I really wanted to meet him once that time. Somewhere in-between I was also feeling bad for not look into this matter conscientiously, which has got now worsened. Meanwhile, I just went to my balcony to have some fresh air holding along with my newspaper. Instantaneously I could hear deep mourning and weeping sound coming from Prem’s Balcony and made me anxious. Hurriedly I arranged my coffee table close to the wall and adjust the chair on the table so that I could peep out in his balcony what’s wrong is happening. But the other side was frenetic what I had seen was completely unimaginable. Prem was half stood on the railing and bent down his upper half body but what he was looking for was my biggest concern. I am sure he is not doing this stunt casually that’s for sure and this sudden event made frozen my blood instantly as if the temperature drastically went down below ‘zero’. For a second my eyes were remained wide open with the half-open mouth I wanted to scream but somehow managed to keep mute myself. It was pretty clear Prem was trying to commit suicide and any wrong step could have been fatal. Fortunately, I have had a habit of carrying my Phone and this recalled me to make a call.I dialed his number silently and his new white color sleek pattern I-phone 7plus started ringing which was gifted by his father last month on his birthday. My heart was throbbing so badly that I could feel the heartbeat and seemed it would jump out at any time and get burst. It was my first live confrontation with a person committing suicide thus it was obvious. I was just hoping he could pick my call for once plz….
Since childhood, I always love to play Rubix cube where you have to try different permutations and combinations to resolve it similarly that “keep on trying” continuously coming into my mind. I did not want to give up and just tried, tried, and tried. Prem was standing like a Bungee Jumper who was about to take a dive but it was not for fun not for an adrenaline rush and not for excitement. He just wanted to run away from all his grief and problem, he wanted to end up his life and embrace death forever. However I reached on 7th attempt to redial his number at the same time he leaned ahead, Oh no he was jumping as I thought but against my scary imagination he raised his hand to take out his phone from the rear pocket of jeans and stammered “Hello”…
I replied casually, Hey “How are you Prem” and in spite of waiting for his response meanwhile jumped on another question, how are you doing??
As if I wanted to delay his action by keeping him busy in conversation and then there was a deep silence like “the calm before the storm”. After a long pause, he broke out with sobbing and crying but I let it go away this “rupture of damn sufferance”.
“Didi, I can’t take it anymore. I am fed up with this humiliation and frustration. Please tell me, How many times I should confess that I don’t understand science maths, I don’t want to become an engineer and I really hate to do what I don’t like and I am not good at that. I have lost my patience and willpower both by trying, trying, and trying harder. Every failure is worse than the previous one and wipes out my all efforts and now my mind and my body both gave up, I am feeling so hurt from my soul so there is no point to live in this materialistic world, what’s the point to survive. All he conveyed in one breathe. I have never seen such a massive conviction at this adolescent age. The most saddening part was that his parents still did not understand his hardship.”
Now it was my turn to speak and I did not want to let it go away though I had to be very careful. I replied calmly, Prem I truly understood your resentment and I will not take much of your time. Just give me 30 seconds and in those 30 seconds if you don’t find justifiable to survive then carry on…
I knew what I said could be dangerous but I knew that even if I succeeded to escape him, for now, this will not be an end because till the time your heart is filled with misery your brain is trapped by frustration such step could be reversed again.
He was quite ok with our deal and murmured, go ahead. I felt great and continued, I will ask you three easy questions and an answer should be given either “YES” or “No”, no complications anymore.
He nodded and I started with the first question, do you want to die?
He said, “Yes”
The second question, what if all your problems get resolved then still you prefer to die??
“No”, He said (as if he wants to say who the hell wants to die when he has no problem at all)
The third question and the last, I would resolve all your troubles but you have to keep faith in me, Will you??
He reluctantly first then said unwillingly, “Yes”…..
Yes, that’s what I want from him, keeping my small victory hiding from him.
Ok, Prem, you have to abide by your answer before moving to any next action. Now please open the door and let me in your house now. He was still wondering what has happened and why he is bothered to listen to me but indulging his thought in another direction, this time I said more loudly, open the door, Prem.
He said, Ok..Come and the time taken to reach towards his flat was merely two to three seconds.
For instance, I felt like crossing the railway track at the same time train is ahead of me to crush me down. I stared at him, he was totally messing with red swollen eyes overfilled with tears and he was still whimpering. Without utter a word I directly went to the kitchen and brought a glass of water. While holding the glass his hands were still shivering but he could manage to gulp few sips in one breath. I asked him to sit and then I said, listen, Prem, I know you faced immense hardship which caused you pain frustration and hatred but the path you have chosen to get rid over that was not correct rather this will only lead you and your family to great devastation. Instead of taking too much of your time and giving you life lesson speech let’s have a simple deal. A Three Day Deal. Furthermore waiting for his reply I kept myself continue to speak. I have some work commitments in the next three days which I want you to accomplish in the meanwhile I surely resolve all your troubles and escape you out from all these. I knew it he had no option to negotiate thus just nodded his face to say “Yes”. I told him to get ready tomorrow by 9’o clock sharp and the rest of the things will be explained by my assistant who takes care of my work schedules, meetings, and upcoming seminars.
The same day I met with Prem’s parents and explained to them the vulnerability of the situation and how to clear out from this. I had also revealed his deep interest in becoming a florist and a list of colleges which best suit their son. Initially, they were in deep shock as quite obvious I had presumed, with Prem’s drastic step. Anxiety and fear just have taken out all the courage to say something and what would have happened if I would have not intervened at the right time and stopped him. They silently provided all the approval to fulfill prem’s dream to become florist without any discussions as if they just want their son at that moment none other than anything in the world. From the other side Prem’s three-day task had begun, next day morning he came to my flat on time seemed he already prepared himself for the tasks no matter whatever it is….
I narrated in from of him, Prem you got three tasks in the following three days and how to execute, will be explained at task spot only.
After Three Days….
When I confronted Prem, He was no longer an old Prem who was completely shattered, whatever sufferings and pain he had gone through were wiped off and he was enlightened to persuade new beginning. He came forward and touched my feet with full of gratitude, tears rolled down from his cheeks and soaked my toes but this time I did not bother about his tears because he just unleashed all the negativity and agony through his tears.Didi, now I came to know why did you send me to accomplish those tasks.
“First day when I was taken at my first task spot I was surprised to see it was an old age home.I was instructed to spend a whole day there and had words with 20 people for minimum of 20 minutes and write down my experience with everyone. When I entered inside with shaky legs I could realize only I am not alone in this world who has suffered. Moreover, when I personally interacted with 20 people, I learned every person’s problem is worse than others but they never prefer to choose the path of an end or destruction. They taught me happiness is a state of mind which if you wish could exist all the time with you no matter what the damn circumstances knocking your door to bang you out. The woman there was rejected by their own families, many were sick and counting their last days but failed to steal smile on their faces and made me ashamed for a nonsensical act I was about to commit”!!!
If we would love life with all our hearts it would embrace us back. While cursing our failure and pain we forget to admire all the beautiful things which we already are blessed with. We blew ourselves in the air of negativity to throw out all positive elements of our life…..
After listening all this from Prem’s voice I felt passed with distinction marks in my exam.
“On the second day, I was headed to the orphanage where God’s beloved kids who are unfortunately physically challenged are given shelter and education. It was so heartbreaking to see that those tiny kids never let their physical deformity to dominate their happiness and liveliness. And the most mesmerizing part of my task was giving the speech on “Life and Laugh” with a mere 30 minutes preparation. I really enjoyed with kids with all my heart who taught me, most of the time while regretting what we do not have actually spoiled the fun that actually we could have. My best learning was “why can’t you just be with the flow in spite of whatever circumstances coming in front of you”.
It is truly said that,
“For every blocked path there is an open one
And for every disability, there is an ability one……
Now my ecstasy was on the seventh cloud after hearing all this. I could not resist listening to the third-day experience.
And the third day was most heartbreaking and saddening. When I was brought to meet a family.
A family who were in deep mourn and sorrow due to the tragic death of their beloved child. He had committed suicide a few months back and left their family members in endless trauma. After meeting and interacting with them I actually realized what a foolish mistake I was about to do and I am fortunate enough that you emerged on the right time and saved my life, saved my family from the pain they would suffer. I don’t have words to show my gratitude and he just bowed down to touch my feet.I patted his shoulder and said prem this just the beginning and you have to go very far… “Chuckles”.
I have some surprise for you now, one more surprise, He exclaimed. I handed over the envelope with
List of floriculture diploma course colleges in Mumbai and said, I have shortlisted few colleges and had a discussion with your parents and obtained their approval to go ahead. He laughed joyously and hugged me tightly. Now you can fly over your dreams and grab them one by one.
After 6 Years…
Prem had completed his Diploma course in floriculture with distinction marks and persuaded his masters also. Simultaneously he opened his florist shop also where an extensive range of flowers, bouquets, arrangements, and cost-effective flower gift basket are sold as well as delivered. He enhanced his services from office decoration, seminars, Business opening to Shop decoration, weddings and various festivals. His mother told me that response is so good that he got tied up with big corporates, Hotels, and Temples also for decoration and regular supply of flowers.
“It is said that creative minds and devoted spirits never needed to be nurtured to find their path”
Same I was seeing with Prem.
Later on, Prem initiated Waste Management Mitigation by his own efforts to curb all the waste flowers and leaves leftovers remained after pooja, decoration, and celebration. Its general practice of maximum Indians to immerse flower residues into the water or keeping underneath a tree after offered it to god or used in holy rituals. Prem’s this new thought not only be helpful to prevent all this but promote the use of waste and recycling process also.
His new mission tagline says, “You take flowers from us, we take waste from you”.
Whatever the waste was accumulated from people is being used to form compost which is an organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming.
At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter known as green waste (leaves, flowers) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months. Compost is rich in nutrients. It is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil.
Initially, he started with his area to collect all flowers, fruit scraps and plants waste to make compost using Hot Compost Method. And the most significant thing came out from this compost formation was people here stopped immersing flowers in the pond, lake after being offered to god. This idea is so blossomed up that he started getting orders from relatives neighbors and friends for their personalized gardens, society parks and at home to flourish their plants and enhance the productivity of soil because compost is a great material for garden soil.
His earnings got doubled by selling it and that led to encouraging him to open another branch. Meanwhile, he got married to a beautiful girl and blessed with two adorable twin daughters. He had bought land outside Mumbai where large varieties of exotic flower species are grown in the supervision of well-trained staff.
Suddenly Anupama’s Phone rang and I could hear Anupama was saying Oh, Hi Prem…Yes yes, I am on my way to your place don’t worry I will be on time. She hung up and said its Prem’s third branch inauguration is there in your locality and that is the purpose of my visit today and I thought we will also have some talk J
It’s his personal desire that the Ribbon cutting ceremony should be done by me and inaugurate the opening of his new branch. We both laughed in rejoice and promise each other to meet again soon.
When I went downstairs to drop Anupama, a carbon black color Audi was waiting to take her to the inaugural function which was sent by Prem.
I must say Prem was fortunate enough out of those thousands of youngsters who hardly got a second chance by life to relive again. As per recent estimates in 2013 alone, 2471suicides (https://scroll.in/article/694364/) and in 2014 alone, 8,032 student suicides were reported, out of which, in only 30% of these cases, failure in exams were attributed in the country. A common cause for concern is the pressure from parents to do well in national board examinations, especially for class XIIth, before finishing school. As scores in these exams often determine college admissions and subsequent employment opportunities, students aged 16-18 are often subjected to undue pressure at home to succeed.
Major causes of students suicide in India are Poor Education System, Forced career choices and lack of speaking up in front of parents’ guardians or friends.
I still don’t understand why Parents, across all income groups, are petrified about letting their child do anything less than engineering or other conventional courses. Awareness about new subjects may be there, but acceptability is missing. Arts is still considered a poor cousin of science subjects, even though it offers plenty of interesting and even well-paying career options. Just a little out-of-the-box thinking is needed. We need to allow our children to dream.”
Have you guys ever plant a tree/sow seed if not then each one of you must do this beautiful activity before becoming a parent. To grow a beautiful plant a seed needs fertile soil adequate sunlight and an optimum quantity of water and pesticides to fight all the adversities to turn itself a big green tree. I am sure we all are certainly aware of this fact then how come we forget the same one to be followed while nurturing our own child. The biggest misery of life is while knowing everything we tend to pretend ourselves and our sheer ignorance and our own selfishness cause major pitfall in our child’s growing seeds of dreams and unfulfilled desires. Please don’t set too many expectations and pressure which further carried away to your kid as a burden. Being a Parent you must have decided something good for your kid but while keep putting this on their shoulder making sure you don’t miss something extraordinary which was about to come from them.
“Wonderful things are not created rather cultivated and nurtured by Brilliant People
Who are indeed lucky enough to follow their dreams only”
The SPC is a SAFe program consultant (Also called as Implementing SAFe). This is probably the highest level of certification SAFe has and undoubtedly highly valued in the software industry. I am fortunate to have it cracked within 3 days of effort plus 4 days of a class. I definitely would like to write this down so that it would become easy and you don’t need to wonder how would I go about not just passing but scoring high marks.
I feel you should first decide whether you truly want to do it. If you just want to add another certification to your profile, probably I would say you don’t need to go for it. If you aspire to be an Agile coach and/or know that you would be implementing/supporting SAFe then it’s the perfect thing to go for.
I have cleared a SAFe Program Consultant a couple of weeks ago. I am going to share tips that would focus more on learning but at the same time, you will clear the exam with an excellent score.
Read the material given by SAFe at least two times. If any concept is not clear then refer to scaleagileframework.com. The explanation there is far better than any other place.
Click on the big picture and understand every item. The better way to do is to click on the item and read about it.
The specific links are given in exam preparation material, read them all at least twice. Create notes only for high-level titles that would help you to connect with questions.
The practice test must be done and if you score less than 80% then you need more preparation.
The exam guide clearly states the most important chapters. The way you determine is based on the number of questions that appear from the respective chapter. Anything above 10% is very imp and every concept should be understood well.
If you need any guidance in terms of how to prepare for exam, you can send an email to me at email@example.com . There are no sort cuts but right preparation will yield excellent results. Alternatively if you are on whats app, you can join my group to participate in SAFe discussions https://chat.whatsapp.com/IsMoFcc7znF4y5Y8s131LX
Avoid searching for answers to questions on the internet during the exam. You may find the question while the answer available on the internet may be wrong. Study well and go by what you think is right. The questions are prepared with very well thought processes and I am sure you should be able to answer. If you want to score high, trust your judgment. Remember certification doesn’t have lots of value while knowledge does.
9. I would recommend reading Get SAFe Now book before even you go for training or start reading materials from SAFe. The book is for beginners and explains the concepts in layman language. The questions after every topic make you think a little deeper. It helped me a lot to hit high scores in a bunch of certifications I did.
The above is just for basics while if you want to be really confident then I would recommend reading the below book (SAFe distilled 5.0) instead of going through the website and reading random links. This book is organized so well that everything seems to be a story.
I will be adding more blogs with cheat sheets and more informative ideas and content soon
The sample questions available on the internet may help you to prepare further
Figure – what is common among a special Operations Military Unit, a professional movie studio, a Professional Basketball Team, and of course a Gang of Jewel Thieves?
Confused how this most diverse set of groups can have anything in common – The one loud response I could gather was exemplary Team Culture. Team culture is one single most powerful force to achieve the maximum outcome in any undertaking.
In the Culture Code, Daniel Coyle, takes us deeper into the team-building aspects of some of the leading organizations in the world.
Coyle starts with a definition of culture that’s a little bit different than the norm. He says, “Culture is a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are, it’s something you do.” So, what is it that you do? What do people in organizations that create strong cultures do that their peers in other organizations don’t do?
There are three most significant skills at the heart of great teamwork as per the book.
Build safety to make everyone feel comfortable in working together
Safety is an important enabler that allows us to do great work. For example, keeping our day job can help us practice our creativity freely in a side hustle. Similarly, a work environment in which you feel safe in acting as you naturally would and speaking your mind is very conducive to group work. It’s only natural: you don’t want to keep looking over your back all the time, because if you need to, you can never really focus on the task at hand. Anybody could predict the outcomes of negotiations within five minutes of starting a session. That’s because how close we are to our co-workers, whether we mimic their behavior, and look into their eyes, are instant tells of how safe we feel. One good way to make others feel safer is to confirm you understand what they’re telling you by occasionally interjecting affirmations like “uh-huh,” “yes,” “got it,” and so on. Just don’t interrupt them.
Share vulnerability to show no one needs to be perfect
When we share our own flaws with others, something amazing happens. He calls it a vulnerability loop, in which other people detect when we signal vulnerability, thus signal vulnerability too, and thus both parties become closer and trust each other more. Workplaces are usually seen as competitive, especially in the Western world, we think we need to look confident and powerful all the time. But that’s not true. It’s usually the person who takes the first step in admitting they’re not perfect, who’s perceived as a leader, not the one who berates others for being weak.
Vulnerability not just increases trust, it’s also a way to show acceptance: if you admit no one’s perfect, people will feel okay even after making mistakes, which are inevitable in accomplishing a shared goal.
Establish purpose through a common goal and a clear path to get there
Put simply, the purpose is a set of reasons for doing what you do. In the case of a group, it’s the sum of all beliefs and values among your team, as they relate to achieving your common goal. That goal might be something straightforward, like selling the most phones any company has ever sold, but ideally, it’s about something bigger, like making phone users feel special and that they have good taste. Since the goal is in the future, but your group lives in the now, your purpose should be like a bridge between the two. Thus, if you can come up with a simple narrative as to how your purpose will help you go from today to tomorrow and reach your goal, you’ll be able to activate those around you.
With safety, vulnerability, and purpose all in one place, it’ll be almost impossible to stop you and your team from accomplishing whatever you set out to do! There are several chapters about each skill. There’s a good mix of stories and studies. Coyle chooses his examples carefully and tells their stories well. He doesn’t use bullet points or frequent summaries, so sometimes you will work to tease out his meaning.
Most business authors put summaries of key points or action steps at the end of every chapter. Coyle doesn’t. Instead, he includes a chapter at the end of every section, titled “Ideas for Action.” That chapter functions as a review of the other chapters in the section. I think that’s a good device, but I’d rather he also put his key points at the end of every chapter.
I thoroughly reinstated my beliefs of building team cultures after reading this book and will recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the transformation of the team culture.
In this series of posts, I will take a deep dive into Digital Transformation – the word/feeling/term that has taken the world by a storm. I have this word being referred to at lunches, coffee catch ups, and informal meets round the street corner and not to forget in almost all formal leadership summits. Hence I felt it will be very useful for me to indulge further upon this subject for the sake of all you netizens. In this series of posts, I will look through the evolution of the digital economy and then follow it up with its elements, approaches, areas, Strategies, industries specific implementations and last but not the least its importance beyond technology.
Digital transformation is the thoughtful transformation of business and organizational activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of a mix of digital technologies and their accelerating impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way, with present and future shifts in mind. Just to keep it simple, an alternate definition would mention it as something that refers to converting processes, activities and models to meet digital economy requirements until the company is a fully networked digital organization.
Businesses have always been changing and innovating, technologies always came with challenges and opportunities, regulations and ecosystems have always evolved. That’s nothing new. It’s in the degree of interconnectedness and of various accelerations, which require profound enterprise-wide change, that digital (business) transformation is to be seen as more than a buzzword but as a challenge, force and most of all opportunity for organizations that will enable them to achieve the core business competencies they need to succeed in rapidly changing environments. So Why is it needed? Let us see below.
We need to make sure we speak the same language and it’s important to emphasize that digital transformation is not just about:
Digital marketing, even if that’s an important part of the business activities and if it’s the context in which digital transformation is often used.
Digital customer behavior, although it plays a role and customers are increasingly ‘digital and mobile’.
Technological disruptions because the disruptions are always about customers, workers, markets, competitors and stakeholders, even if related to technological evolution and knowing that ’emerging’ technologies indeed can have a ‘disruptive’ effect.
The transformation of paper into digital information as originally meant nor the digitization of information (flows) and business processes, which is simply a condition sine quod non.
Components of Digital Transformation: The basic seven elements of digital transformation that are required for you as an organization to lead a digital change is below.
Leadership and Vision: It’s required for you as an organization to inculcate the thought process and clear vision in leadership. This particularly means that the leaders and management must stimulate the right digital culture. They should focus on improving the organizations operations, revenue, customer experience and competitive position. They should have holistic view of the digital threats and opportunities. They should be able to utilize the collective intelligence to reshape the competitive landscape.
Formulating strategies: The organization should be able to define the outcome or result to help achieve the business goals. It should then work backwards to make a compelling digital transformation strategy. It should optimally harness technologies to deliver the value proposition. It could then utilize the niches like augmented reality, geo-location, and social media integration to extend the overall capabilities of the journey
Information Governance: The organization should have formulated a strong governance plan and apply a strategic approach and then move to cloud applications to expand the reach
Focus on Customer Journey: The organization should be able to identify customer needs with an accurate study of customer behavior and then should diversify customer experiences by utilizing the customer data, advanced analytics, online customer surveys and data mining tools.
Define Technology Road map: The organization should align the strategic priorities towards long term planning before the actual tool investment with a well-defined technology road map. This should be followed up to enhance the existing technology stack with the latest tools to match current and future business needs.. This will help leverage technology to increase RoI, improve product and service portfolio, boost productivity and enhance customer satisfaction
Business Disruptor: Businesses need disruptive elements like digital automation, collaboration tools, and enterprise analytics platforms. These help optimize, evolve or transform the entire value chain. Disruptive elements help organizations by modifying or replacing told methods with more faster and integrated ways of working across all the levels.
Utilizing Technology: Big data allow businesses to have an incredible amount of data to analyze and guide business decisions. AI carries out precise predictive or prescriptive analysis for active strategy development
In overall essence the components help seek your way around the digital transformation to drive the digital way of change for your business.
Let us also quickly take a look at the general challenges that we face in the digital transformation journey so as to keep them in mind when we look at key approaches.
The right approach to digital transformation hence allows companies to adopt new technologies that meet the ever-increasing customer expectations. Additionally, cultural transformation is also critical as part of the digital transformation process. It must align with organizational norms along with their risk-taking capability to define and deliver compelling customer experiences. Based on these experiences, the new business models and operational processes are derived, which, in turn, drive the investments in technologies.
Stay tuned…. Part 2 of this foray, we will look key approaches to Digital transformation. Please feel free to review my earlier series of posts.
Just a recap, in my previous post, I had taken a deep dive into the growth and trends in the IoT space. This will be the concluding post for this series where we will discuss the Industries where IoTs have been successfully implemented.
According to Internet of Things spending data and forecasts, published early 2017 by IDC, the 3 main industries in terms of IoT spending in 2016 were, respectively, manufacturing, transportation and utilities. Consumer Internet of Things spending ranked fourth.
While globally in the period until 2020, manufacturing will remain the major industry (except in Western-Europe) there will be global changes in this top 3. Among the fastest growing industries in the period until 2020 are insurance, healthcare, retail, consumer and, as mentioned, cross-industry initiatives.
Obviously, there is a difference between Internet of Things spend and number of Internet of Things projects.
A report by IoT Analytics, really a list of 640 real-life Internet of Things projects, indicates that from the perspective of number of projects connected industry ranks first but is closely followed by smart city implementations (where we mentioned the report), which rank second.
Internet of Things in MANUFACTURING
The Manufacturing industry has always taken the lead in the implementation of IoT, given the origins of IoT i.e., RFID. Hence the most early typical use cases have kept this industry in the lead but not for long. In 2015, it was estimated that there were 307 million installed units in the manufacturing industry where systems with sensors have always been embedded into manufacturing and the automation processes. And that it would reach $98.8 billion by 2018 in manufacturing operations through efficiency optimization and connecting the automated areas. By and large the 3 top IoT use case in this industry are listed below.
A majority of manufacturers has deployed devices to collect, analyze/measure and act upon data. More than 34.6 percent of these companies had already implemented devices and sensors to gather this data and another 9.6 percent were about to implement IoT devices within a year. Only 24 percent from manufacturing industry had no plans to implement devices to collect, analyze and act upon data.
Retailers are working with the Internet of Things for several innovative and immersive approaches, ranging from virtual closets and self-checkouts to smart shelves (inventory accuracy) and connected vending machines.
The Internet of Things in the RETAIL business
Retail is moving up fast, both in operations and customer-facing circumstances. The emphasis is primarily on efforts to digitize the consumer experience. It is mainly in the optimization of processes and of logistics that the Internet of Things offers immediate benefits to retailers. However, obviously the customer-facing and inventory-related aspects matter a lot too. The use of the Internet of Things in retail, among others, changes customer experience, leads to better customer insights, enables new collaborations and business models and further blurs the line between digital and physical in an in-store context.
Retailers are working with the Internet of Things for several innovative and immersive approaches, ranging from virtual closets and self-checkouts to smart shelves (inventory accuracy) and connected vending machines.
The Internet of Things in GOVERNMENT AND CITIES
The Internet of Things is already used across several government activities and layers the sector is a very vast ecosystem and so are the many IoTs use cases in government. Probably the best-known usage of the Internet of Things in a government context concerns smart cities, in reality mainly smart city applications.
Smart city projects are what people hear about most and they get a lot of attention, among others because smart city applications are close to the daily lives of residents. Another reason why smart cities are often mentioned is that defacto smart city projects account for a big portion of Internet of Things deployments. Think about smart waste management (often a local matter), smart parking and environment monitoring.
Another area where we see the Internet of Things popping up is in citizen-facing public services. To a large extent smart city uses cases overlap with Internet of Things use cases in public services as one of the key tasks of a city is to serve the citizens. However, with public services we also go beyond the local/urban level but also includes smart energy. The degree of overlap depends on the way government services are organized in a particular country or region.
Improving citizen satisfaction is the main objective when considering or implementing the Internet of Things and other emerging technologies. Moreover, governments have a role in public health which can be enhanced by taking initiatives using the Internet of Things and in collaboration with private a state-sponsored partners. The same goes for public safety by the way. An example: collaborations between governments and insurance firms, leveraging telematics.
There are really hundreds of ways in which governments leverage and can leverage the Internet of Things to improve citizen experience, realize cost savings and, not to forget, generate new revenue streams.
The latter is quite important as many IoT projects have an impact on the funding of cities. A simple example: if you have a perfectly working smart parking solution in a city, you lose revenues for all the obvious reasons. So, it’s not just a matter of technologies but also of finding creative ways to turn enhanced citizen experience and citizen services in a global picture that is beneficial for everyone.
This takes time, planning and, as you can imagine, given the complexity of the government ecosystems, lots of alignment and coordination.
The Internet of Things in BUILDING AND FACILITIES
The Internet of Things plays an important role in facility management, among others including data centers and smart buildings. The integration of IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology) plays an important role in this regard. Smart buildings are among the fastest growing cross-industry Internet of Things use cases in the period until 2020. Moreover, research indicates that data collection from buildings and other structures such as HVAC is already high. Last but not least, the market and evolutions of the BMS (Building Management System) are strongly impacted by the Internet of Things.
As the graphic below indicates, building management systems are becoming the centers of connectivity in a world of ever more endpoints in buildings, data analytics and actionable data play a key role in the evolution of building design, the connected building and the building management. As data collection from end point increases and next generation technologies make analytics and insights key in building systems, the connected BMS becomes a center of visualization, insights and actions.
Leveraging data from IoT-enabled facility assets, along with new Internet of Things platforms and facility management, with embedded capabilities, are leading to possibilities and benefits in building management areas such as:
Smarter building security systems.
Smarter Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
Safer and more comfortable/healthy workplaces and buildings.
Facility service quality optimization.
Cost reductions, also in a green building context and in reduction of energy and water consumption.
Better planning, operational efficiencies and enhanced resource allocation.
Predictive maintenance and facility maintenance planning.
Facility equipment control, configuration and regulation.
Building management and building automation.
Light and room control, comfort.
This list is far from comprehensive. As there are various sorts of buildings, each with their own challenges, infrastructure, technologies and most of all goals the landscape of building automation and management is very broad. In light and room control alone there are several controls such as blind controls, AC unit controls and literally dozens more.
The overall building automation and management landscape exists since far before the Internet of Things existed and is composed of various specializations, each with their standards (e.g. KNX in room control or BACnet in building management systems), certification programs for green buildings (ecology and energy/ecology regulations are key drivers) and for OT channel partners, technologies, networks, solutions and of course goals (the goal of an IoT-enabled office space, building or even meeting room is not the same of a hospital, even if there are always overlaps) .
However, with the Internet of Things these worlds are converging (and the standards already evolved to IP). This is a challenge and opportunity for the various players who all have their skill sets but rarely are able to offer the full picture.
5. The Internet of Things in HEALTHCARE
The Internet of Things has been present in healthcare in many forms and shapes since several years.
With remote healthcare monitoring and medical/hospital asset tracking, monitoring and maintenance as typical examples of these initial applications, the face of the Internet of Things in healthcare is changing fast.
Among the evolutions and drivers of the Internet of Things in healthcare:
An increasing consciousness and engagement from the consumer/patient side leads to new models, leveraging personal healthcare devices.
In a more integrated perspective, data from biosensors, wearables and monitors are used in real-time health systems and to save time for caregivers, detect patterns, be more aware and increase quality of care.
A broad range of innovations in fields such as smart pills and ever better delivery robots help in making healthcare more efficient and in saving resources, while also increasing quality of care.
This glorifies the importance of remote monitoring as the main use case in healthcare from a spending perspective until 2020 and ongoing growth in the years after that with some vital sign monitor devices, followed by ways how healthcare providers and healthcare payers plan to leverage the Internet of Things and, finally smart healthcare market growth data.
Some evolutions and forecasts in healthcare IoT in numbers:
Research shows that by 2019, 89% of all healthcare organizations will have adopted IoT technology
Among the main perceived benefits of healthcare IoT in the future are increased workforce productivity (57%), cost saving (57%), the creation of new business models (36%) and better collaboration with colleagues and patients (27%). The key benefits as reported in March 2017, however, are increased innovation (80%), visibility across the organization (76%) and cost savings (73%).
Other research shows that wearables will play a key role in health care plans, clinical IoT device data will free up clinician’s time significantly by 2019 (up to 30%) and there will be an increasing role for IoT-enabled biosensors and robots for medication and supplies delivery in hospitals by 2019.
Internet of Things in UTILITIES AND ENERGY
Facing huge challenges and transformations for several reasons, utility firms have 299 million units installed according to Gartner. On top of utilities in the traditional sense there is also a lot happening in oil and gas and in energy.
Among the many typical use cases in utility firms: smart meters to improve efficiency in energy, from a household perspective (savings, better monitoring etc.) and a utility company perspective (billing, better processes and of course also dealing with natural resources in a more efficient way as they are not endless) and smart grids (which is about more than the Internet of Things).
The Internet of Things in AUTOMOTIVE
Connected cars and all the other evolutions in the automotive industry are driving the market as well. Again, connected vehicles is the hottest US market in the overall picture. The connected car is one of those typical examples where the Consumer Internet of Things and Industrial Internet of Things overlap.
The Internet of Things in OTHER SECTORS
Other industries include healthcare, transportation (where “smart devices” and sensors have existed for quite some time), logistics, agriculture and more. Add to that the consumer context and you know why it is such a hot topic.
In summary the biggest drivers for IoT projects are listed below
This is the last blog in the series on the World of IoT and the related space. Hope you all enjoyed reading through the posts as much as I enjoyed putting them together. Stay tuned while I come back with yet another series on a technology topic
Just a recap, in my previous post, I had emphasized primarily over the key definitions and approaches to the Internet of Things. In this post, we are going to take a deep dive into the growth and trends in the IoT space.
The exact predictions regarding the size and evolution of the Internet of Things landscape tend to focus on the number of devices, appliances and other ‘things’ that are connected and the staggering growth of this volume of IP-enabled IoT devices, as well as the data they generate, with mind-blowing numbers for many years to come.
It makes it look as if the Internet of Things is still nowhere. Make no mistake though: it is already bigger than many believe and used in far more applications than those which are typically mentioned in mainstream media.
At the same time it is true that the increase of connected devices is staggering and accelerating. As we wrote the first edition of this Internet of Things guide, approximately each single hour a million new connections were made and there were about 5 to 6 billion different items connected to the Internet. By 2020, Cisco expected there would be 20 billion devices in the Internet of Things. Estimations for 2030 went up to a whopping 50 billion devices and some predictions were even more bullish, stating that by 2025 there will be up to 100 billion devices. The truth is that we will have to wait and see and that by the time we have written about recent predictions, new ones are already published.
Regardless of the exact numbers, one thing is clear: there is a LOT that can still be connected and it’s safe to assume we’ll probably reach the lower numbers of connected devices (20-30 billion) by 2020. Moreover, it’s not that much the growth of connected devices which matters but how they are used in the broader context of the Internet of Things whereby the intersection of connected and IP-enabled devices, big data (analytics), people, processes and purposeful projects affect several industries.
Also the data aspect is critical (again with mind-blowing forecasts) and how all this (big) data is analyzed, leveraged and turned into actions or actionable intelligence that creates enhanced customer experience, increased productivity, better processes, societal improvements, innovative models and all possible other benefits and outcomes. The impact of the IoT from a sheer data volume and digital universe perspective is amazing. And the Internet of Things will surpass mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices with 16 billion connected devices being IoT devices
There are numerous reasons for the growing attention for the Internet of Things. While you will often will read about the decreasing costs of storage, processing and material or the third platform with the cloud, big data, smart (mobile) technologies/devices, etc. there certainly is also a societal/people dimension with a strong consumer element.
A factor that has also contributed a lot to the rise of the Internet of Things, certainly in a context of the industrial Internet of Things and smart buildings, to name a few, is the convergence of IT and OT (Operational Technology) whereby sensors, actuators and so forth remove the barriers between these traditionally disconnected worlds.
As companies increasingly started investing in Internet of Things technologies and scalable Internet of Things deployments instead of just pilot projects it quickly became clear that the Internet of Things as a term covered completely different realities which have little in common. The majority of the Internet of Things hype focused on consumer-oriented devices such as wearables or smart home gadgets. Yet, we can’t repeat it enough, there is a huge difference between a personal fitness tracker and the usage of IoT in industrial markets such as manufacturing where the IoT takes center stage in the vision of Industry 4.0 (you can for instance think about IoT-connected or IoT-enabled devices such as large industrial robots or IoT logistics systems). That’s why a distinction was made between the Industrial Internet of Things and the Consumer Internet of Things to begin with.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): is ‘machines, computers and people enabling intelligent industrial operations using advanced data analytics for transformational business outcomes”. The main value and applications are found in the so-called Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT. In all honesty one of the main reasons why we started talking about the Industrial Internet of Things is to distinguish it from the more popular view on the Internet of Things as it has becoming increasingly used in recent years: that of the consumer Internet of Things or consumer electronics applications such as wearables in a connected context or smart home applications.
Typical use cases of the Industrial Internet of Things include smart lightning and smart traffic solutions in smart cities, intelligent machine applications, industrial control applications, factory floor use cases, condition monitoring, use cases in agriculture, smart grid applications and oil refinery applications.
It’s important to know that the Industrial Internet of Things is not just about saving costs and optimizing efficiency though. Companies also have the possibility to realize important transformations and can find new opportunities thanks to IIoT.
Those who can overcome the challenges, understand the benefits beyond the obvious and are able to deal with the industrial data challenge have golden opportunities to be innovative, create competitive benefits and even entirely new business models
The Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT)
About 5 years ago, consumers rarely saw what the Internet of Things would mean to their private lives. Today, they increasingly do: not just because they are are interested in technology but mainly because a range of new applications and connected devices has hit the market.
These devices and their possibilities are getting major attention on virtually every news outlet and website that covers technology. Wearables and smart watches, connected and smart home applications (with Google’s Nest being a popular one but certainly not the first): there are ample of you know the examples.
Although it is said that there is some technology fatigue appearing, the combination of applications in a consumer context and of technology fascination undoubtedly plays a role in the growing attention for the Internet of Things. That consumer fascination aspect comes on top of all the real-life possibilities as they start getting implemented and the contextual and technological realities, making the Internet of Things one of those many pervasive technological umbrella terms. Obviously, the Consumer Internet of Things market is not just driven by new technology fascination: their manufacturers push the market heavily as adoption means news business possibilities with a key role for data.
Below are some consumer electronics challenges to tackle first:
Smarter devices. Consumers are waiting for smarter generations of wearables and Internet of Things products, which are able to fulfil more functions without being too dependent from smartphones, as is the case with many of such devices today (think the first generations of smartwatches, which need a smartphone).
Security. Consumers don’t trust the Internet of Things yet, further strengthened by breaches and the coverage of these breaches. Moreover, it’s not just about the security of the devices but also about, among others, the security of low data communication protocols (and Internet of Things operating systems). An example: home automation standard Zigbee was proven easy to crack in November 2016.
Data and privacy. On top of security concerns, there are also concerns regarding data usage and privacy. The lack of trust in regards with data, privacy and security was already an issue before these breaches as we cover in our overview of the consumer electronics market evolutions.
A “compelling reason to buy”. The current devices which are categorized as Consumer Internet of Things appliances are still relatively expensive, “dumb” and hard to use. They also often lack a unique benefit that makes consumers massively buy them.
Whereas the focus of the Industrial Internet of Things is more on the benefits of applications, the Consumer Internet of Things is more about new and immersive customer-centric experiences. As mentioned, the Consumer Internet of Things typically is about smart wearables and smart home appliances but also about smart televisions, drones for consumer applications and a broad range of gadgets with Internet of Things connectivity.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) : brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before-turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.
It focuses too much on the things and, as mentioned, is also very broadly used. It’s why some started distinguishing between the just mentioned Consumer Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things.
Cisco and other prefer to use the term Internet of Everything, partially because of that umbrella term issue, partially because of the focus on things and partially to provide context to their views and offerings. But it’s not just marketing. The Internet of Everything or IoE depicts crucial aspects of IoT, namely people, data, things and processes; in other words: what makes a business. It’s this mix that matters. Moreover, the classic illustration of the Internet of Everything also made clear what, for instance, machine to machine or M2M is all about.
We’ve based ourselves on that classic depiction and added the dimensions of value and data analysis.
The relevant four key drivers for IoE are listed below
The Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT): is a concept where intelligent devices can monitor events, fuse sensor data from a variety of sources, use local and distributed intelligence to determine a best course of action, and then act to control or manipulate objects the physical world, and in some cases while physically moving through that world
One of the major characteristics of the Internet of Things is that it enables to build far stronger bridges between physical and digital (cyber) worlds. You see it in all IoT use case and in the Industrial Internet of Things you see it in what’s called the Cyber Physical Systems.
Yet, in most case, the focus is predominantly on the ‘cyber’ part whereby data from sensors essentially are leveraged to achieve a particular outcome with human interference and with a focus on data analytics and ‘cyber’ platforms. The way it happens, as ABI Research, who came up with the IoRT concept (which is real today) puts it is that essentially many applications and business models are built upon passive interaction. The Internet of Robotic Things market is expected to be valued at USD 21.44 Billion by 2022
By adding robotics to the equation and turning devices (robots) in really intelligent devices with embedded monitoring capabilities, the ability to add sensor data from other sources, local and distributed intelligence and the fusion of data and intelligence in order to allow these devices determine actions to take and have them take these actions, within a pre-defined scope, you have a device that can control/manipulate objects in the physical world.
With collaborative industrial robots), warehouse automation (Amazon Robotics) and even personal robots for cleaning and so forth make it more tangible. It’s still early days for the IoRT but the projects and realizations in this next stage are real. IoRT is not tied to the consumer and industrial IoT distinction, it’s ever-present.
The Internet of Things is used in various industries for numerous use cases which are typical for these industries. On top of that, there is a long list of Internet of Things use cases that is de facto cross-industry. As the Internet of Things is embraced and deployed at different speeds throughout consumer and industrial sectors, we take a look at some of the main industries and use cases which drive the Internet of Things market and Internet of Things projects.
Patterns and shifts in the vertical industry and Internet of Things use case spend
Note that the biggest and/or fastest growing use cases are not always related to the biggest and/or fastest growing industries in terms of Internet of Things spending.
The costs and scope of the investments. A full-blown, enterprise-wide Internet of Things project in industrial settings such as manufacturing or logistics is far more expensive than a smart home implementation.
The shifts in the major Internet of Things use cases and industries. Remember that the Internet of Things mainly started as an industrial and business sector phenomenon. Industries with many existing physical assets can realize fast cost savings and efficiencies of scale. That’s why today they spend more in Internet of Things projects than consumer segments where we see more ‘new’ devices, rather than existing assets.
The Consumer Internet of Things catching up. As industries keep leading the current waves of Internet of Things spending until 2020, the fact that they started first and the advent of ever more consumer use cases and better (safer and more useful) solutions means that gradually consumer Internet of Things catches up with Industrial Internet of Things spending.
The rise of cross-industry Internet of Things applications and of scenarios whereby consumers and businesses meet each other in business-driven initiatives (for instance, the push for telematics in insurance, the push for smart meters in utilities) has a leveling effect on the adoption of the Internet of Things and on spending.
Stay tuned…. Part 4 of this foray, we will look into the 8 best example usages of the world of IoT.
Please feel free to review my earlier series of posts
Just a recap, in my previous post, I had emphasized primarily over the world of IoT its origins and its common elements. In this post, we are going to dwell a little deeper on key definitions and approaches to the Internet of Things.
The Internet of Things is a reality in business and beyond
In several industries and companies, tangible value creation by leveraging the power of IoT is happening since quite some time as ample real-life IoT examples show. However, it will still take until the next decennium (2020 and beyond)before hype, roadblocks and misunderstandings regarding the Internet of Things fade away and uncertainties and challenges in several areas are solved. Moreover, a radical new approach to security will be needed.
To understand the benefits, value, context and even technologies of IoT it’s important to look at examples across various applications and industries. Although IoT is often approached as if it were a ‘thing’ as such one needs to understand the differences from an applications perspective in areas such as the Industrial Internet of Things, the Consumer Internet of Things and, beyond these ‘flavors’ and terms, the mentioned IoT use cases.
The usage of the Internet of Things happens at different speeds. IoT investments in the manufacturing industry, for instance, are far higher than in any other vertical industry and in the Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) space concerned with manufacturing. This is poised to change by 2020 although globally manufacturing will still account for the majority of IoT spend (hardware, software, services and connectivity). The manufacturing industry, along with transportation and utilities are the three main IoT investment areas and are part of what is known as the Industrial Internet of Things.
Despite challenges, different speeds and the fast evolutions which we will see until the first years of the next decade, the Internet of Things is here.
In business and industry, there are thousands of Internet of Things use cases and real-life Internet of Things deployments across a variety of sectors with the three industries which we just mentioned accounting for a more than significant part of deployments and investments as the image on the right shows.
In the consumer space there are many thousands of devices and applications for a broad variety of purposes.
Predictions regarding the economic impact, sub segments, technologies and number of IoT-connected devices keep evolving as well.
Even if for most people the number of IoT devices is not a relevant metric, it’s the one that gets most attention. It has taken over two decades for the ‘concept’ of the Internet of Things to become a reality that is impacting and will impact many areas of business and society as we will see further. Despite being a reality, the Internet of Things in general is still in its early days,regardless of massive attention, impressive forecasts and numbers, and major evolution and deployments in many areas. However, if you look at the overall potential of IoT we are really just starting. Standards, technologies, maturity levels, devices and applications continue to evolve as various actors in the IoT ecosystem come up with platforms, new data analysis models and even evolving definitions and views to make IoT projects better and smarter. At the same time, challenges regarding regulation, security and data are being tackled – and even a universal IoT definition is still being debated.
The Internet of Things is a misnomer in two senses.
First, the things don’t describe the essence of what it truly means and make it seem like a thing that is composed of connected things. On top of covering a vast connected ecosystem of myriad technologies, platforms and other components as such, the Internet of Things also fits in a technological and organization context whereby actionable intelligence is at the core of human and business value creation opportunities. The Internet of Things has no purpose nor means to exist without all these aspects.
Secondly, after years of future visions around very old concepts and ideas such as connected refrigerators, the current fascination with the possibilities that arise as a result of connecting ‘things’, the ‘connected things’ aspect will move to the back and IoT will be seen just as we look at the Internet today: an obvious phenomenon of increased connectivity that is like electricity. What is behind it, the sensors, the devices, the protocols, the essential possibilities, will not matter, except to people who need to realize Internet of Things projects in real life and watch over the technology aspect within frameworks of regulations, meaning and security.
The question and evolution increasingly will not be about the Internet of Things but about the broader digital transformation economy picture with outcomes and integration in mind and de facto overlapping sets of technologies being a given.
What is IoT? A visual answer
To end this part on definitions and descriptions, here is a good illustration of the vast reality of the Internet of Things – and at the same time an illustration of what it means.
Internet of Things with IP: smart objects with an IP address which can sense (depending on use case, gather data on various parameters such as location, temperature, moisture level and dozens of more possibilities). This data gets sent for processing or analyzed at the source.
Internet of People: Think about everything you use to connect with the Internet, such as your smartphone. It’s in the meeting of this sphere and the Internet of Things that most Internet of Things consumer applications today get born. Several so-called Consumer IoT (CIoT) applications such as wearable can’t live without smartphones. Moreover, for several control and monitoring activities you’ll need some sort of device such as a tablet, for example in a smart home context.
Internet of Things without IP: and do not belong to the Internet of Things. They exist since a long time, mainly in the sphere of industrial Internet and we see them migrate to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Replacing such devices or tagging them so they become IoT-enabled is a part of what happens in IIoT.
The definition of the Internet of Things is in evolution in several ways:
Industry bodies are updating Internet of Things definitions and descriptions in a field that is still lacking standardization.
The market is evolving and changing views and definitions as well. Whether it concerns analysts or companies, which are very active in the IoT space: many of them have invented their own terms.
There is a shift in the way we think about the Internet of Things. You can define things based upon what they are and what they are not. You can also define them by focusing on their characteristics but the most important question to answer in a definition: why and how do we use “something”?
We look less at the ‘things’ and technologies of the Internet of Things and more at the broader reality and context in which the Internet of Things fits.
Approach to IOT Implementation
While the Internet of Things – and we weigh our words – as a ‘reality’ has benefits and consequences many can’t grasp yet, we need to change the narrative and look at IoT from the holistic perspective of:
How it is connected with people, processes, data, business, innovation, meaning, etc.
The outcomes and goals from an integrated view, with regards to ecosystems of value, of related technologies and of business and platform ecosystems.
While most people think about IoT devices such as smart meters, smart home appliances, fitness trackers, smart light bulbs, smart alarm systems and, in business and industry, for example robots and cobots, connected industrial assets, smart street lighting or intelligent building controls, to name a few, the things that really matter in IoT, including these devices, contain several technological components, which make them function.
There are obviously lots of parts in any IoT device: sensors, actuators, boards, antennas, chips, micro-electro-mechanical systems and so forth. We won’t go that deep and look at the most important ones: sensors and actuators.
Both sensors and actuators are what is called transducers. A transducer converts a specific signal which comes in a specific form of energy into another signal in a different form of energy.
Sensors convert signals in areas such as heat, humidity, pressure, presence of gases, pressure, acceleration and so forth into a digital signal that gets sent to a control and/or data aggregation system such as a sensor hub or gateway. They are the start of all IoT data capture and thus must be accurate.
The data which are a result of the sensing and converting of any given state or change of state in temperature, presence of gases, location and so forth usually go from the sensor hub or IoT gateway to the cloud or a data center. However, a lot of IoT data processing and preparation can happen close to the devices.
Actuators in a sense are the opposite of sensors. They receive a signal or feel a force or change of state which makes them set in motion an operation in the physical world. Examples include the switching on of sprinklers when heat is detected, turning off heating and ventilation systems. Actuators are what enable semi-autonomous or autonomous decisions take place in the physical part of the cyber-physical system.
The data received by IoT actuators are digital (electric) in nature and include a control system. The instructions get turned into another type of signal and energy, from switching things on or off, rotations, pressure and so forth. Typically actuators then also report data back so the taken action is known and, combined with other data, can be used for more insights, analysis or simply alerts.
The combination of smart sensors and actuators is what really makes IoT fulfill many real-life applications.
Function as bridges between the ‘things’ of the Internet of Things, including the data they generate through sensors on one hand and networks, cloud, IoT platforms, data centers, and ultimately applications leveraging this and other (aggregated and analyzed) data, on the other hand. They play an important role in the encryption, decryption, pre-processing and even analysis of data. They function as intelligent bridges with ever more types and features.
IoT gateways are hardware, software or a mix of both. There are several types of IoT gateways whereby the functions and possibilities they offer as said increase. This is because there are ever more IoT devices, an increasing volume of IoT data and, last but not least, a shift in the way data gets analyzed to the edge as previously explained. If you have more data and more complex and diverse ways to leverage more data and build IoT projects this means that your whole technology environment changes to deal with various IoT workloads where it fits best. And, thus, IoT gateways are moving beyond their initial scope as some sort of filter and bridge on the intersection of IoT devices and data on one hand and the networks, cloud services or data centers where they usually get stored and/or analyzed. A typical ‘newer’ form of IoT gateways is an edge gateway. This has to do with the mentioned rise of edge computing and thus analysis BEFORE the cloud, network or data center.
Connectivity and network technologies
Time for a look at the Internet of Things connectivity aspect. In order to transmit data between devices and from devices to platforms, the cloud or any other destination, network technologies are needed.
In some applications, for instance in smart home solutions, this is relatively easy as there are several general and several proprietary connectivity solutions in typically rather simple use cases.
Connectivity is traditionally divided into solutions for PAN (Personal Area Network), LAN (Local Area Network), WAN (Wide Area Network), MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) and (less) in NAN (Neighborhood Area Network).
These are concepts we know from computer networking in general since quite some years. To connect from a PAN to a LAN and a WAN or, let’s say, the Internet you need a gateway.
The rise of LPWAN companies such as Semtech (LoRA), Sigfox and so forth needs to be seen from that perspective whereby the focus was on having enough bandwidth, low power consumption and so forth at cheaper prices than existing possibilities. Building specific networks, among others, what made non-cellular LPWAN solutions successful.
Today that landscape continues to evolve and change. New 3GPP standards, the shift to 4G LTE in the industry and beyond are some of these evolution. Wireless IoT protocols and technologies are expected to become more important in the IoT network layer overall. However, it is and remains a reality that keeps changing.
Stay tuned…. Part 3 of this foray, we will look into the market growth and trends in the world of IoT.
Please feel free to review my earlier series of posts