Recently Dave Westrom, SVP of ThingWorx Business Development has been featured in an exciting online radio series called Coffee Break with Game-Changers along with Quentin Fisher of HCL Axon, Chris Hallenbeck of SAP, and Bonnie D. Graham as their host. This series of conversations has been around the Industrial Internet and allows for the featured guests to discuss how businesses can seize innovative opportunities to capitalize on the Internet of Things.
In the first broadcast , which originally aired on April 2, 2014, the discussion is kicked off with a quote from Niccolo Machiavelli that reads, “And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” From there, Westrom launches into the conversation and talks about the current Internet of Things revolution and how it’s already ushering in a new paradigm for business transformation. He says that the IoT will be highly disruptive and will launch a new era of innovation that will dramatically alter the status quo that has been in place for the past 20+ years. This change will continue to accelerate as more innovation is both desired and created.
Westrom goes on to talk about how product manufacturers will need to change their business models to servitization models, using products to sell new services, which will be further enabled by this new technology. The IoT and IoT business processes are, and will continue to be, inherently innovative because they leverage the value found at the intersection of people, systems, and smart, connected things. In turn the data that is created and the data sources that are growing, expanding, and changing will alter the business processes and help companies to differentiate themselves.
ThingWorx is the tool to help launch businesses into the world of IoT. The ThingWorx platform allows people and organizations to rapidly enable the building of applications in the smart, connected world and also helps companies continue that innovation, as new business processes change from stagnant cycles to continuously changing and growing ones as more connections and data are absorbed throughout the process. Innovation will be continuous and speed will be vital to success.
In part two of this conversation on the Industrial Internet which was broadcast today, July 16, 2014, Westrom responds to another quote, this time from Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest or most intelligent who survive, but those who can best manage change.” Echoing the first segment, Westrom states that the real story about the Internet of Things is about rapid innovation and continuous change.
He says that once companies have new processes and services, the inputs from devices, sensors, people, and insights generated from analytics and big data will constantly change and can in turn provide them with an opportunity to continuously change the services they provide to their customers. It’s a whole new world where companies can react, renew, and extend services to their customers that weren’t possible even a few years ago. Most companies are jumping in very quickly (hear how from presentation recordings from LiveWorx- ThingWorx Innovation Exchange) and has even accelerated in the past 6-12 months. It is happening now in many industries all around us.
Westrom explains how software is shifting as well. Some traditional software solutions established a long process where customers might not see value for over 3 years. Now there is a great emphasis on creating things that are differentiated, doing it rapidly, iterating, and adding incremental value instead of waiting for a year for a new software release that allows them to change an application.
Because of this shift, the new tools and technology now available, and other factors, hesitancy of some companies is melting away. Westrom says, “If you can reduce time to innovate and broaden participation, get more ideas, create an engine of continuous innovation while bringing down time-to-market and cost, you can create a product quickly. Then if it doesn’t deliver you just simply move on to the next idea.” He refers to this outlook as “Fast to Fail.” This technology and approach changes the equation.
To wrap up the conversation, Westrom states that the IoT revolution is in its early stages and that we are just starting to see its impact. The “Fast to Fail” mentality will create new dynamics of competition in the market, compelling companies to quickly innovate and out-do each other and then iterate and improve products so as not to fall behind. Solutions like ThingWorx will take the complexity out of connecting devices, systems, algorithms, big data, people, and more so that it’s easy to create applications, services, and new business process that allow organizations to rapidly implement existing projects and let them be in a position where they can come up with new ideas that they can execute on immediately.