Blog

The Internet of ABSOLUTELY Everything

Jan 14, 2015

As the year comes to a close, which for us at HighVail also means a new fiscal year is about to start, I’ve been thinking about what’s sparked my interest most over the last twelve months.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really the notion of everything is connected in some way.  And if it isn’t, it’s because of a decision we’ve made versus the inability to do so. I’m of course not referring to most consumer goods; a tissue for example isn’t connected (electronically that is). But the ability of connecting the box it came packed in via some wireless vehicle is still there if not exploited yet.

This observation led me to do some searching and brought me to a plethora of articles on the Internet of Things (IoT), the Internet ofEverything (that Cisco and others sometimes use) and finally the IndustrialInternet (#IndustrialInternet).  GE appears to have coined this term about three years ago and given that they are one of (if not) the largest industrial companies in the world, it makes sense.  But what they’ve been able to do to sustain themselves for well over 100 years is adapt to change.  And in the term “Industrial Internet”, they see that smart machines along with enabling technology provide the best possible customer outcomes.  The power of one (or 1%), that one small change can drive enormous impact and have a direct affect on the customer outcome (or the bottom line).  In GE’s case, they applied this primarily to industrial applications, how physics and analytics are merging and helping them achieve their goal of no unplanned downtime. This of course struck a chord for me, given that our line of “Keeping our clients online, all the time” has been our mantra for many years. (HighVail come from the words High aVailability.)

Two other comments jumped out at me, the first was “software is eating the world” and the second was the “computerization of industry”.  As it turns out, they really have the same meaning, invisibility or ubiquity.  NotUtopia or Nirvana (although Dave Grohl is very popular right now), but simply being a part of our everyday lives.  Without realizing it, in our house at least, 2014 has become the year that it all became ubiquitous.  My wife doesn’t ask me to help her upload a file to her Dropbox account, (mostly because she hadDropbox before I did).  Sure, I’ve had a mobile phone since 1988, my first blackberry in 2005 (OK, I was a little late there) and a smartphone since 2009 (also a little late), but only this year have I really started to use a variety of cloud services.

Reality is, anything that can be connected, will be at some point in the very near future.  But the bigger reality is, it’s not going to be any more painful than the advent of radio and television was or of the assembly line and the first business computers over 50 years ago.  Radio didn’t end live theatre; television didn’t stop people from going to the movies and the Internet made these mediums better and more accessible.  And it’s the merger of computing and manufacturing that created Supply Chain Management (or ERP) and the use of robotics in assembly line manufacturing. Both of which have given us the ability to own smartphones, connected automobiles, Smart TV’s and everything else we use every day.

Real-time information can only enhance the end-user experience, especially when you can tailor that experience to meet your needs.  In manufacturing, real-time information help businesses make decisions that provide tangible benefits to the business and to shareholder value. In healthcare, real-time information can help to provide more efficiency and, for example, also reduce exposure to radiation during a CT scan, which ultimately can save lives.  And in the consumer world, real-time information can provide a better customer experience ultimately providing a better outcome for both the consumer and the retailer.

None of this would have happened had more reliability and stability not been built into the infrastructure it relies on.  From a business perspective, it all comes down to three things; Technology Innovation has led to better Asset Utilization providing the best possible Customer Outcomes. One of the speakers on the GE video’s I watched said, “We all know what we thought we already knew”.  It kind of makes sense if you really think about it, if you’re not sure, just Google it.

Please reach out to me (ceo@highvail.com,@BradleyBrodkin) with your thoughts and comments; I’d love to hear from you.

Wishing everyone the very best for the holidays, MerryChristmas and a safe, happy and peaceful Happy New Year.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 4.08.17 PM