The new IDC study on the Internet of things, and solving one of the problems raised…

The recently published IDC study on the Internet of Things (link here) provides a lot of confirmation for me. The top reasons to utilize IoT don’t resonate with me (increased productivity, process automation and time to market) because frankly I think all three are actually increased productivity. But the numbers represented are interesting.

This study comes to the conclusion that it is all about the data. They catch that security is a huge issue but they miss data movement and management as issues. But that is more a function of people not considering the reality of what you are collecting.

More than, at this point, 60% of all information generated by IoT devices is never used. It is discarded through automated systems that filter what humans need to act on. That percentage will continue to rise, because frankly the projected growth of IoT objects will increase. In fact, most analysts put the number of IoT devices in 4 years to be 4 times what it is today.

The interesting problem for me that they talk about in the IDC study is that of IoT skills. Building skills is something I have a lot of my career figuring out ways to do. I started as an elementary school teacher, my first attempt at building a knowledge transfer system was the creation of the Virtual, and in-person Society of Dead Teachers. Modeled after the movie Dead Poet’s Society and the meetings in the forgotten cave. Except our meetings were normally on Friday and normally at Chi-Chi’s restaurant. It was in the creation of the virtual forum for the society that we grew rapidly. We were voted one of the friendliest listserv’s on the internet twice (once by Kent State University and once by the University of Berlin).

That was the first knowledge transfer system I built. I’ve done this now many times. Another model that I tried as part of the Society of Dead Teachers was the publication of the magazine for the group. Called “Kindle the Flame” the magazine focused on reviewing and discussing technology and ways it could be used, and impact classrooms.

All of this before I built my third system. The third system physically existed before I got involved. What I built was a network people contributing to the system. I was then asked to be part of the team that was redesigning the new system to implement that system. In this new system we mixed the concept of SME’s, Communities of practice and the collection of Intellectual capital. The system worked but we were missing one component.

We were missing the training piece.

In the last attempt I put together of this system I took a broader view. Creating a repository of templates and useful standardized internal information. I built a list of SME’s that could operate independently of central management to quickly solve problems. Then with a phenomenal team we built an education system that mixed online classes, virtual discussions, in-person classes, Vendor provided training materials and a virtual lab that students could quickly log into and practice.

I documented that in my new book. The Edison Scale, or Inter-generational knowledge transfer. The concept is mixing people who know things (SME’s) with information that is known good (has worked to solve problems before) along with vendor provided reference architectures and training materials. Layer over that key and specific training developed internally to assure proper information consumption and you have the system.

It is designed in the book, other than a few pieces that are still in my head. You see, with the information age just ahead of us (yes we are NOT THERE) and the IoT deluge coming, building an Edison Scale system will provide a framework to both encourage young innovators to stay put, but will also create an environment where the existing expert systems disappear. There is nothing worse than an expert hoarding their information because that is how they got to where they are.

There are still a few ideas in my head that I haven’t worked out yet, but will continue to build them and share them on my blog.


Innovation, Intellectual Capital, Training, it is all there and not in a locked PDF file…