An Ecosystem Like No Other

Maximizing IoT Potential through a Dynamic Ecosystem

With over two decades working in IoT and technology, I’ve seen the industry through the lens of operator, supplier, consultant, consumer and citizen. In addition, I’ve witnessed cities and industries trying to make sense of the vast number IoT and Social Innovation opportunities that bring value to citizens, employees and shareholders.

From these various vantage points, I see two major keys to success:

First, IoT needs to create value for the majority of individuals or stakeholders in the ecosystem. Too often there is one group whose needs are not adequately considered, which limits overall success and adoption. Change for the sake of change will not bring successful outcomes. If we bring business and societal value across the ecosystem, then we have a smart and successful investment.

Second, when we create solutions, we need to do so by collaborating with clients and our solution ecosystem, something often termed co-creation. The concept of the IoT ecosystem is like no other in technology – the customer is at the core rather than the central focus being a specific company, technology, platform, or application.

We all understand, no single player can dictate what the marketplace will be – it’s moving too quickly, too aggressively, and is too expansive. What that means is we must choose wisely, with forethought and align with those companies we believe can and will treat our customers as if they were their own. With this comes immense opportunity and requires a high degree of trust, true collaboration, and intense partnering. Let’s delve into this a bit deeper.

City, Campus and Smart Spaces Perspective

A city, campus or smart space is an incredibly complex ecosystem, with people in public and private roles, public and private infrastructure, and technology. To create an IoT-enabled smart city, we must look at challenges and opportunities with the entire ecosystem in mind. We must consider each stakeholder and element; city government, citizens, public safety, public works, private employers, public and private buildings and infrastructure, and on and on. Innovations come from public – private partnerships including academia and foundations that are part of the ecosystem.

It is a complex and interwoven system, so trying to implement solutions can be truly daunting! However, after working with smart cities, campuses and spaces for longer than I care to admit, I have found some imperatives for a well-functioning IoT ecosystem.

The Micro-Ecosystem

While looking at the ecosystem in its entirety, it is important to take a step-wise approach, again, with the customer in the center. At each step, a 360-degree evaluation of the stakeholders in the value chain will ensure that the best, and right, solutions are identified to provide a positive outcome across that landscape. This is really a micro-ecosystem. Within that micro-ecosystem, success will breed success. Then savings from projects will help fund incremental steps on the journey and expand success to the larger ecosystem involved. We do this side by side with our customers and partners to create a vision of the outcome which fuels the co-creation opportunities. I will be writing more about this in coming months.

The Solution Ecosystem

An array of building blocks are part of every IoT project.  Some of these building block’s include:

·      the machines,

·      the people and things being connected,

·      the sensors collecting data at all those elements,

·      the devices that connect the sensors,

·      the networks that carry the data,

·      the data itself and how it is stored, managed and analyzed,

·      the applications that inform and automate,

·      and the people who play a role at every touch point.

To solve a problem with high-impact and sustainable positive outcomes requires deep partnering relationships and innovation across this solution ecosystem. When we have a new project, we work very closely with our client to explore potential solutions, challenging the boundaries to re-imagine what could be. We start by observation, then conversation, then move to co-diagramming and end with a diorama of the old and the new outcomes. I have found that ideas can come from anywhere and working openly through these different concepts and suggestions is essential to successful co-creation.

Another key to success is bringing a broad spectrum of partners into the collaboration: hardware suppliers, telecom players, start-ups, hardware providers, and developers. It’s about how we can accelerate solution development for the customer which requires a holistic vision of the IoT ecosystem.

A Dynamic Ecosystem in Action

An example of this ecosystem vision will be brought to life at Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) in Los Angeles. Hitachi is developing ecosystems in collaboration with Sprint and Ericsson to solve complex problems for a wide range of customers. Sprint has just launched a new IoT brand, unique in its ambition to democratize IoT and leverage a dedicated IoT network. Hitachi will be bringing solutions into that ecosystem. Ericsson has long been an enabler for telecoms across the globe with their IoT platforms, and Hitachi and Ericsson are partnering to integrate our solutions for faster time to market for our clients and customers.

If you are at Mobile World Congress, come by the Ericsson booth (South Hall booth S.1724), showing the integration of our data collection and management solutions into their IoT platform. This integration will enable faster time to desired outcome, remove complexity from an otherwise challenging and costly process. Ericsson has IoT partnerships with telecom operators around the globe, so this partnership will really accelerate societal change, a key corporate goal of both companies.

Please also join us at the Sprint booth (South Hall booth S.1702) to see how we are transforming Big Data Analytics using edge devices, to capture actionable intelligence which deliver insights and alerts into an in easy-to-use graphical interface. We have seen these solutions implemented in value chains for public safety, retail, transportation hubs, utilities, manufacturing plants, public infrastructure, on college campuses and in government agencies. I am excited that we are part of Sprint’s vision to accelerate change in the market.

If you’re at MWCA, please message me and let’s explore how we can co-create and build ecosystems that bring you closer to your desired IoT outcomes.

If you’ll be following MWCA from afar, stay tuned as we continue our IoT journey together through LinkedIn and Twitter @BeverlyDRider.


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