Successful companies will organize for continual IoT innovation

In the Internet of Things (IoT) era, successful companies will innovate constantly, at all levels of the organization. The most successful of these companies will change their culture and processes to foster this innovation. For many companies, IoT will trigger organizational change, which, in turn, will drive innovation in other areas as well as IoT. TBR believes that IoT is not a technology revolution, but rather a business revolution that will change how companies operate and evolve.

Innovation will occur at every level of the organization, and IoT and IoT-related solutions will proliferate. To prevent sprawl and consequent security and efficiency implications, IT will set standards and provide standard resources where practicable. At the same time, IT will facilitate innovation by being responsive, and by providing and supporting horizontal IoT tools. Successful IT vendors will serve the needs of IT departments supporting distributed IoT innovation. Dell EMC’s concept of “IT transformation,” which is one of supporting innovation, describes this model very well.

IoT everywhere

IoT and IoT-related solutions will proliferate because IoT offers many valuable potential solutions for many business processes, particularly as additional lower-cost solutions become available. Despite its long history, IoT is immature. The near future will bring many more prepackaged solutions, easy-to-use components and more efficient data utilization. These changes will lower costs, improve ROIs and make many more solutions feasible. Many new solutions will require no new data, but will integrate or analyze IoT-generated data to deliver more value.

IoT’s value potential is not confined to companywide transformative projects. There are opportunities for valuable solutions at every scale and in many different business units and departments within each company. Therefore, successful companies will enable the development and refinement of new IoT solutions throughout the organization, not just in designated departments or groups.

Quantum computing: Same plot, shorter film

TBR position: The path to quantum computing commercialization will follow a trajectory similar to that of classical computing, but much faster

IBM (NYSE: IBM) states that its quantum computing architecture will eclipse anything classical computing can produce once it can entangle 50 quantum bits (qubits). When IBM announced its quantum cloud service in March 2017, it sat at 5 qubits; by June it had reached 16 qubits. This development trajectory suggests the IBM Q Series will eclipse classical computing in two to three years. On the other hand, quantum pure play D-Wave recently released a system doubling the qubit performance from 1,000 to 2,000. The differences between the two architectures are nuanced and reminiscent of the high-performance computing development arcs of the past 40 years. In classical computing, niche vendors such as Cray and Tandem innovated around special-purpose computers addressing mission-critical, niche applications before general-purpose computing architectures could provide the same compute output at commercially acceptable price points. Quantum will likely follow the same path: niche innovation followed by general-purpose adoption.

The quantum computing landscape is not necessarily technology in pursuit of a use case, but rather it is technology in pursuit of a well-trained workforce that can translate its power into productive commercial outputs. Here is where quantum computing has the potential to extend into viable commercial use cases far faster than the classical computing advancements that have transformed the world over the past 60 years. The lessons on human interaction with technology, the capex to opex shifts cloud computing provides, and the successful pivot to ecosystem business models built around open standards and community-contributed IP will accelerate the commercialization of quantum computing technology, regardless of whether there is a comparable innovation algorithm to Moore’s Law.

Expensive innovation in technology often flows from the public sector quickly down to financial services and healthcare, given that preserving health and wealth are critical to consumers while “protection of the commons” allowed governments to justify costly investments in experimental technologies to protect their citizenry. This paradigm has shifted somewhat, with Moore’s Law economics applied to classical computing as well as the advent of cloud computing combining to dramatically lower the barriers to entry to begin innovating.

Quantum, in that scenario, represents a throwback to the classical business use cases of the past century. Similar to early classical computing instances, a typical D-Wave installation costs about $10 million to stand up.