A Note from T.C. Doyle: The Internet of Things and You
Trillions of dollars in new opportunity. Billions of new things to sell. Millions of ways to add value.
I am, of course, talking about the Internet of Things (IoT), which, depending upon whom you look to, is either the greatest innovation of the last 100 years, or the most-over hyped thing in technology today.
Truth is, neither assessment accurately captures the totality of the trend.
I spent a year researching the IoT with Inder Sidhu, former senior vice president of strategy and planning at Cisco. We teamed to write “The Digital Revolution: How Connected Innovations Are Transforming Your Industry, Company and Career,” which was published by Pearson Education earlier this year.
To better understand the IoT, Inder and I talked to scores of innovators from Tesla, GE, Stanford, Coursera, McKinsey, Microsoft, Cisco, the Kahn Academy and more to develop an educated assessment of it. Our bottom line: The IoT is one of several emerging digital innovations along with social media, data analytics and cloud computing that, when leveraged in different combinations, have the power to transform our world as we know it. The blending of digital innovations is broader than the IoT and can best be summed up as the digitization of every process, function and organization.
If you’re interest is piqued, you can check out more on Inder’s views in a Q&A that he did with The VAR Guy this month. You can also hear Inder speak in September in Scottsdale, Ariz., at Channel Directions Live where he will deliver a keynote on his book and opportunities for channel partners around digitization and the IoT.
Which brings me to you.
We agree with our friends at CompTIA who say the channel has three basic opportunities selling IoT solutions. They are selling and installing equipment, sensors and actuators; managing and monitoring the systems that put these end points to use; and leveraging the data they produce to help business run more efficiently and create new revenue streams.
To help you better understand the trend, the editors at The VAR Guy, MSPmentor, Talkin’ Cloud and The WHIR pooled our efforts to create this month’s editorial calendar package devoted to the IoT and you. Among other things, we have an IoT quiz that you can take to gauge your level of understanding, a snapshot of three smart cities, and a look at where the IoT and distribution intersect.
At The VAR Guy, you can start with an interactive quiz to test your IoT awareness. Trust me when I say it’ll stretch your mind. If you get a perfect score, we’ll want to hear about it.
After, read Michael Cusanelli’s story on Spiceworks. It illuminates a significant issue surrounding the IoT, security. Michael zeros in on wearables, which any partner (and customer) can identify with.
Also on The VAR Guy, Kris Blackmon gives insights on what distribution brings to the table, IoT-wise. She also takes a look at the opportunities for channel companies selling IoT solutions to organizations focused on public transit. Surprise! It’s a bigger growth opportunity than you might think.
If you’re an open source fan, you’re definitely going to want to check out Chris Tozzi’s “6 Open Source IoT Projects to Watch.” Chris is one of our most prolific outside contributors and one of our best. Definitely worth your time.
For MSPmentor, Aldrin Brown gives us a look on what the IoT presents for MSPs, specifically. For insights, he turns to an up-and-coming researcher, MachNation. MachNation, which describes itself as an insight services firm, has made a business out of understanding and predicting opportunities and providing guidance to leading IT and telecom firms including MSPs about how to position themselves to capitalize on IoT.
Nicole Henderson, who does double-duty on The WHIR and Talkin’ Cloud, has created what we like to call an “explainer,” which sheds light on a topic that people think they get but maybe not fully. Her focus this time: “10 Most Active Internet of Things Investors.” The WHIR also has another explainer, “Four Connectivity Models of the Internet of Things.” Definitely people worth getting to know.
Lastly, we turn a spotlight on smart cities, which our sister site, Penton’s Internet of Things Institute, devotes great energy to. We look at three cities (Chicago, Barcelona and Dallas) and the ways in which they are leveraging digital innovation to make the lives of citizens there better. And yes, we showcase channel companies playing a role in these municipalities.
We hope you like this month’s Channel Edit Calendar Series. If so, be sure to watch for next month’s special package on big data. In particular, we look at how channel providers are helping customers make sense of the world of information around them.