Impact Day 3: Breaking Rules, Taking Risks and the Internet of Things
Jacqi Levy 270003E0DF JALEVY@US.IBM.COM | | Tags:  bluemix agriculture wearables cloud ibmimpact internet_of_things iot services
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“The rules don’t matter anymore…and the people who thrive are the ones that make their own rules.”
The IBM Impact Day 3 General Session was all about showing us the way forward towards becoming a composable business. Through a number of innovative and inspiring Internet of Things use cases, IBM and client speakers demonstrated how to bring all of the pieces of the composable business together. Guest speaker Kevin Spacey, who declared himself the “lollipop at the end of the doctor’s visit,” stepped up to the task of inspiring the audience to action. He left us with three key takeaways to ponder, which I’ll elaborate on below.
Technology is empowering rule breakers.
“In the beginning of television, there were no rules,” declared Spacey. Now, the rules are being completely rewritten, thanks to companies like Netflix and experimental programming like Spacey’s House of Cards, which released two full seasons all at once and let viewers watch on their own terms. Device and length are irrelevant to programming today. “The audience doesn’t care about the platform; they just care about the content,” he asserted.
Similarly, the Internet of Things represents an evolution in which many of the technology rules we’ve come to know are being broken. Objects are capable of interacting with other objects, neckties respond to changes in our bodies, and crops can tell us when they need water. By componentizing technology, the composable business model allows us to quickly design, compose, and iterate, so that we can adapt to changing market needs in real time.
Technology is empowering consumers.
“Give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they’ll buy it,” said Spacey. In a reference to the music industry’s challenges with piracy over the last decade or so, he argued that the music industry’s troubles stemmed from a failure to listen and adapt to the changing needs of the market. If they had embraced the market shift, the industry might be in a different place than it is today.
The need to listen and respond to what consumers want is one of the driving forces behind the composable business. During the conference, IBM announced composable cloud services designed to help companies build and capitalize on the Internet of Things. Two engaging live demos from Mike Curry and Jerry Cuomo demonstrated the new services. Curry and Mychelle Mollot showed how IBM IoT Cloud on Bluemix, IBM Cloud Integration and IBM API Management v3.0, as well as NodeRed and Maximo, could be used to easily configure a sensor to monitor manufacturing processes. Cuomo’s demo, which showcased a mood ring-style tie that responded to changes in his heart rate (@JerryCuomoTie) was built with Wearable Fitness, Mobile Web Push and RapidApps services on Bluemix. Both of these demos revealed how easily the new services could accommodate changes in real time to adjust to changing business requirements.
Technology is empowering risk takers.
Spacey’s final point was about disruptive innovation: how when an idea is truly innovative, it changes the entire landscape. Henry Ford is often reported to have said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Instead, Ford gave them the Model T. The automobile was such a leap from what consumers could imagine, that they wouldn’t have thought to ask for it. However, once it was available, it transformed the way they lived.
Lance Donny, CEO and Founder of OnFarm, showed glimpses of having this type of vision. OnFarm’s operating principle is that the internet of things will revolutionize agriculture by enabling farmers to monitor crops 24/7 via sensors, and apply the right amount of water at the right time in order to increase production yields. “Agriculture is the sleeping giant of the internet of things,” quipped Donny. Through the internet of things and predictive analytics, OnFarm is creating the first business intelligence dashboard for agriculture, which Donny hopes will help farmers both double their agricultural output and decrease water use by 15%.
The bottom line.
By embracing a composable business model, you are enabling your company to take the types of risks that lead to true innovation. Risk takers are eventually rewarded.
Want more great IBM Impact content? Get up to speed with posts from these IBMers who’ve been covering the beat:
Delaney Turner: They Tweeted It: Smarter Process at Impact and My Day with IBM Blueworks Live