I was honored to have been invited by Dr. Scott Allen to speak at John Carroll University in April on “The Internet of Things – Making the Physical World Smarter.” It was an extremely fun and engaging audience and I enjoyed every minute of the presentation. What made this presentation unique was that it was held as part of the Boler College of within JCU, which meant it was mostly business leadership students in the audience. Like my keynote to the last year, the fact that I wasn’t speaking to an audience of technology leaders or engineers freed up the conversation to be more in-line with what high-level business applications are coming using new technology.
A few points that I made both during the presentation and as I took Q&A from the audience.
- “Everything is Becoming Smart“: While I covered emerging technology from Machine Learning, 5G, Internet of Things, Security, and Distributed Computing – it’s not only about the technology, but the business applications that are changing the way companies are doing business. If you don’t start thinking about utilizing connected technology in your business and products, the world will leave you behind.
- “5G is a Game-Changer” : In the presentation, I did some math and showed that based on theoretical speeds, the time it would take to transfer a movie from Netflix goes from 95 years ( back in 2nd grade using a Teletype – playing the original Oregon Trail ) to 5G today taking 4.8 seconds to transfer that same amount of data. New applications that we never thought of today will be built in the coming years.
- “Adoption is Slow – So Damn Slow…” : While not specifically covered in the slides and my talk, we had an excellent Q&A session in which one alumnus of JCU shared his experience working at a competitor to Ecolab make the investment close to a decade ago to connect their equipment and are seeing amazing returns. I find it interesting that many large companies who call themselves “forward-thinking” are still frankly just dabbling in the areas of IoT. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my career is that corporations are some of the last to adopt emerging technology.
I want to thank Scott Allen and everyone who attended that evening. There were a number of students, alumni and local business leaders whom I met and had great conversations with. I learned during my experience that Cleveland has both economic development and the support of some amazing companies to help grow their emerging technology businesses. The fact that a school like JCU is doing a full series on Dessert Disruption and Dialog shows that they are committed to having their students gain first-hand knowledge from leaders working in disruptive technologies. We will need to continue to step up our game here in Minnesota which will involve having deeper conversations on how connecting your product or service to the Internet will improve your bottom line and customer experience. The cost savings are there, we just need to take the time to step back and talk through them.
If you have topics on emerging technology that you would like to explore with myself and our team, please send me a message via our contact us page. I would love to share my experiences and provide a roadmap to your executive team based on my decades of experience in the field.