Posted by: Katherine Raleigh
Programme Manager on Fri 16 Dec

Finalising a very interesting and fruitful 2016, we ended the year exploring future technologies and innovations that leaders need to be addressing, both in the short and long term. This month, we invited thought leader Professor Mischa Dohler, King’s College London, to share his thoughts on the innovation forecast of 2017 and beyond.

It is easy to get excited about the current benefits and expanding potential of connected devices and sensors. From smart cities, to connected homes, and even autonomous networked medical devices. However, as Mischa Dohler, Professor of Wireless Communications at King’s College London, stated at the Leaders’ Forum this month, most companies still don’t know how to really implement IoT into real life and business. So, what can or should organisations be considering to benefit from the advancements ahead?

Here are some key highlights taken from this month’s Leaders’ Forum, of the opportunities, challenges and features of IoT.

  • The story of dramatic gains in productivity and outputs due to machines is potentially too limited to one dimension. It can be used, for example, to break down the walls of procurement; to engage across boundaries earlier in the supply chain, to reach out to customers in real time and to be strong in a commercial sense. Organisations should think about creating a digital aura and embed it naturally into the decision processes.
  • Leaders need to shift the focus of machines replacing people’s jobs. Machines will replace where human error comes into play. There is a dynamic synergy and potential for “partnerships” between machines and humans. It is about collaborating in the environment between the two – we want to automate jobs and humanise work.
  • Based on underlying technologies of the Tactile Internet, AI and Haptic Encoders, Professor Dohler and his team have pioneered the vision of an Internet of Skills – exporting skills through IoT. Think about using skills at a distance, such as performing surgery or teaching someone to play piano from a completely different location. The best people with the best skills would always be available. Global labour and wealth could be democratised.
  • Organisations must also remember the threats that come with IoT. With numerous proprietary networks and devices, the security challenges are as varied as the actual applications of IoT. Security is good if done well… but humans make mistakes. It is more important than ever to have the right security engineering in place.
  • Despite the vast dialogue on future technologies, the update of new technology often takes up to a decade. These ‘futuristic’ concepts are already out there and available. The key barrier holding us back from being lightyears ahead of the game is human trust and the social acceptance aspect of technology. Are we ready for driverless cars? How do we mobilise generations to trust robotics to do the work for us? If your eco-systems need to come together, include the human aspect of trust.

How about your business? Do you know what IoT means in your industry? Do you want to position yourself as an early adaptor? Is there a genuine issue you want to resolve?

Next month, clients – including Linklaters, Surrey County Council and Statoil – will develop an action plan to measure and improve the climate for innovation and high performance in their organisation. Find out more here.

Investigate what IoT and M2M means for your industry. Look at the threats and opportunities.

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