If you think only consumers are confused by the dizzying and exponentially multiplying array of products, protocols, features, functions and incompatibilities in the connected world, you should see what’s going on among enterprises interested in entering the field.
For them, the issues are just as perplexing but the stakes are vastly higher. If a homeowner buys the wrong smart thermostat, he’s only out a few hundred bucks and a couple of hours of frustration.
If a consumer products company bets on the wrong technology, it could lose millions of dollars and a city’s worth of customers who no longer trust the brand.
At some point in the (hopefully not too distant) future, we will probably see the IoT coalesce around a small handful of strong players and robust standards. But right now, it’s difficult to predict how that will shake out. To a large extent, how that happens will depend on what the major manufacturers are willing to embrace and commit to early in the game. Which means that you can’t make predictions based on which technologies are the best. If you could, Betamax would have beaten VHS, and we all know how that turned out.
I have the privilege of playing host at a special seminar on Dec. 7 in New York City that will tackle the issues facing enterprises either contemplating entering, or expanding their presence in, IoT technology. Organized by The Conference Board, one of the world’s most venerable executive networking and research associations, the seminar will focus on the business implications of the IoT, which is expected to hit annual revenues of $1.3 trillion by 2020.
Attendees will learn about opportunities, threats and competitive pressures that will shape every business that has anything at all to do with technology. It’s aimed at C-level executives as well as vice presidents and directors in the areas of innovation, product design and development, customer experience and marketing.
The speaker lineup includes some of the smartest and most experienced people in the field, representing such companies as BlackBerry, Schneider Electric, Verizon and CEDIA, as well as the former CIO of Merck. The featured speaker will be Chip Pickering, a former six-term congressman and co-author of the groundbreaking Telecommunications Act.
Topics will include an examination of what consumers want and are willing to pay for, the status and future of security and privacy for connected devices, anticipated regulatory pressures, the critical and changing role of support, and why companies will need to either embrace voice and virtual reality or wither on the vine.
The Conference Board has generously agreed to provide a discount of $100 to readers of this column. To learn more about the specifics of the seminar, and for registration information, click here and use the code TPG100. If you’re interested, don’t delay: To enhance the interaction between speakers and attendees, The Conference Board hopes to limit attendance to about 30 people.
I’ll be representing my own firm, Cholawsky & Gruenfeld Advisory, as well as the TechPar Group, of which I’m a Principal Advisor. In addition to emcee’ing the event, I’ll be presenting one topic myself and moderating some panels and "fireside chats."
Afterwards, I’ll report on the high points of what was discussed and the key insights that were generated.
I hope to see some of you there.
Lee Gruenfeld is a managing partner of Cholawsky and Gruenfeld Advisory, as well as a principal with the TechPar Group in New York, a boutique consulting firm consisting exclusively of former C-level executives and "Big Four" partners. He was vice president of strategic initiatives for Support.com, senior vice president and general manager of a SaaS division he created for a technology company in Las Vegas, national head of professional services for computing pioneer Tymshare, and a partner in the management consulting practice of Deloitte in New York and Los Angeles. Lee is also the award-winning author of fourteen critically-acclaimed, best-selling works of fiction and non-fiction. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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