Everything Will Be Connected
Since the invention of the telephone and semiconductors, the number of connections and the speed of communication has steadily increased. With 5G in deployment and 6G in the making, all signs point towards even faster, better, and cheaper communication, anytime, anywhere.
It is this connectivity which triggers and enables digital transformation. Without electricity, there is no internet. Without the internet, no connectivity. Without connectivity, most of our industries and even our personal lives would not be possible. Our whole civilization depends on this communication infrastructure.
Moore’s Law is still valid. Chips, sensors, connectivity, and batteries get smaller, faster, better, cheaper, more diverse, and more powerful every day. You could put a chip on almost anything. And we should.
Connectivity is ubiquitous.
When you build a new factory, you can assume that anything in the factory, moving or stable, could and should be connected to the internet. When you build a new warehouse, you can assume that anything in there, moving or stable, alive or material, could and should be connected to the internet. The same for stores, stations, cafes and restaurants, basically anything.
The connectivity trend will continue to shape our investments and efforts. Connectivity is the foundational infrastructure for digital transformation, connected devices are accessible and they generate data while enabling greater monitoring and remote control. Remember the days of pandemic lockdowns, . being able to access your facilities remotely would have been quite helpful.
The equipment, infrastructure, and skills required for connectivity are getting cheaper, better, and quicker. You should factor connectivity into your design of systems and business models to benefit from the connectivity scenarios that the exponential bandwidth increase will bring over time.
What if you could chip your products?
If connectivity became incredibly cheap and pervasive, you could put a chip in anything and everything. Imagine you had a chip in every product you produced and distributed. Those products could periodically tweet their status, surrounding conditions, location, and many other kinds of valuable information. What would you do with it?
You could trace your product end to end, from cradle to grave. You would know when it is produced, where it is shipped to, where it is consumed, and where and when it is disposed of. You could manage the full lifecycle much better, understanding. Consumption and forecasting demand much more effectively.
What hinders you from doing this, right now, with the possibilities at hand? Why don’t you have a plan to improve your capabilities in this regard? You must. First, envision what you could do with all that connectivity information, then think off how to gather all the information you want. By doing this, you will invest in the necessary infrastructure, technologies, and skills you need, to harness the power of connectivity.
What if you could chip your customers?
Editors note: We discuss this topic as a thought experiment about data and what you can do it with. We definitely don’t condone trying to chip your customers…
For all the B2C companies out there, you all want to learn more about your customers, right? They have a mobile phone, which has a chip, a location sensor, a microphone, a camera, and is connected. Within the legal and ethical framework, you are able to collect some consumer data and use it for good causes.
We conducted many ideation workshops where we just envisioned what we would do if we could literally read the customers’ mind. What would we like to know? What would we do with that knowledge? We could understand the happiness, the satisfaction, the feedback, the expectations, and if possible, we could fix some issues.
Now, of course we can’t plug chips into the brains of our customers, but with call centre history, buying patterns, other public information, correlated with weather data, overall consumer confidence, and similar, machine learning algorithms are quite capable to predict next steps, sentiment, and other business relevant issues. The better the data gets, the faster the machine learns, the better these predictions will be. You just need to work on it and ask the right questions.
Harness the benefits of your connectivity superpower.
The world is getting more connected every day. Take your place in this hyper-connected world and benefit from its possibilities. As described above, connected products enable you to follow and trace consumption, giving you a lot of insight which you don’t have currently. We don’t recommend assuming you know why, how, where, and when your products are consumed, the truth data provides might surprise you.
With your customers it’s much better to know than to guess; what your customers feel or want from your company, your products, and services. Find ways to capture this information, analyse it, understand, and act upon it. It will make a huge difference.
When we measure the digital maturity of companies, we look into these areas. During our sessions, not only does awareness rise, but vision expands, new ideas spark, and in our report, we summarise all the outcomes, possibilities, conclusions, with our recommendations. Have a look at it here, and then let’s have a conversation on how we can boost your journey into the digital realm.