’Paradigm Shift’ is a concept that has gone overboard. Relatively insignificant developments are being called this way, which erodes the true meaning of the concept. A bit like the story of Peter and the Wolf – once everything is said to have a ’transformative impact’, we react to such statements with a shrug, or do not even react.
Today, we face another paradigm shift – called the ’Internet of Things’. Now, don’t be deceived by the rather silly-sounding name, or its acronym IoT – for its impact can change our view of what it means to be offline, and ultimately how we work or live; be it at work, at home or at play.
IoT can briefly be described as a product and / or service that is made “smart”. In other words you can direct, control and read data from objects by using a sensor, for example. This is interesting for most businesses as it will improve their efficiency and ultimately the economy. But the promised paradigm shift will occur when all products and services can communicate with each other – ’when 50 billion products, at least in theory, can communicate with each other – something that is expected to become a reality by 2020’. What this means, we do not know today – the only thing we know is that it will have a transformative impact on almost every single industry – directly or indirectly. Difficult to imagine? Yes, it is a paradigm shift no doubt, much like the Internet or smartphone, but of a Himalayan dimension. Smart products, smart homes, smart cities, etc will be a reality in the near future.
The thing about what we call a ’paradigm shift’ is that its hard to ignore it – as it has a drastic impact on society at large. Some of the large organizations of the world today are aware of the power of IoT, and are acting accordingly. The question is not whether one should act and begin developing smart products – but when? But what makes companies hesitate is the usual reason – uncertainty! The uncertainty over what are the standards that will prevail, how to get the timing right, if the right skills are available in-house, what are the competitors up to, should one let go of the security of something familiar for the uncertainty of something new, how mature are the customers, what is the return on investment? We can only conclude that uncertainty is high and there are too many questions to answer.
So what do you do when you see that change is happening – yes, you begin to adapt gradually. Darwin’s theory “Survival of the fittest” applies equally to the business world. Or as he puts it; “It is not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one who is best able to adapt to change.” And there are those who are flexible enough to adapt, in order to survive.
IoT is a matter of life or death – boundaries between industry sectors will blur, entire business organizations will be wiped out, and new products or services will take their place. What or who will be affected, we do not know – the only thing we know is that those who are best prepared for change have a greater chance to adapt to the new, “smart” world.
TechSource Europe AB is a specialist in the IoT. Our strength lies in developing intelligent and connected IoT solutions in which man and machine interact. Our second business segment is insourcing of Techn consultants – in areas such as Software development, IoT, Embedded Systems and Big Data. We are based in South Sweden. Additional information is available on www.techsource.io.