Are you in a fog or a cloud? Get ready for more complexity to come

So what is the difference between a fog and a cloud? Well, actually bandwidth is part of the answer and where data needs to be situated.

Slow connections are driving the cloud closer to the actual asset that has the information, the cloud needs. “Fog computing, or edge computing” is getting closer to those local computers and devices to solve this bandwidth problem we all will be having it seems.

Solutions are looking far more to the how and where we store data and how we are setting about how to access it.

Fogging solutions are coping with the problem that sensor loading is creating altering what goes to the cloud and why

The reason why I’m interested in this, on a dedicated site discussing platforms and ecosystems, is that this fog computing is attempting to solve multiple problems at the edge where innovation lies far more for us to understand, where the devices and their users generate the insights and raw data.

So those wanting to collaborate around platforms need to be able to communicate both in human and machine related understanding, at all the edges. It is the connections within distributed infrastructure that will partly drive platform participation and build the ecosystem effect as the data will generate the insights required as ‘fog nodes’ will increasingly manage the language, data and protocols to allow this connecting universe.

As we connect new kinds of things to the internet we create new business opportunities. Examples like pay-as-you-drive vehicle insurance. lighting-as-a-service and machine-as-a-service and this all need those different open structuring, requiring greater levels of collaboration but we also need increasing interoperability of what ‘talks’ to what, increasingly, in real-time.

A key insight here is the value of managing and controlling these fogging nodes becomes potentially the new battleground of intelligent devices or controllers. These nodes become the true ‘gatekeepers’ in connected networks, they dictate nearly everything going on. Continue reading

Bosch Software Innovations will drive your connected device business

Bosch and its viewBosch takes connected devices, open platforms, and interoperability for IoT solutions to drive your business, built from their own deployed experiences. They are focusing on knowledgeable development & deployment to provide a single integrated set of ‘connecting’ solutions.

Bosch is highly focused on the design, development, and operating software and system solutions for the areas of mobility, city, energy, manufacturing, agriculture, health, home, and building, which is the core of their manufacturing offerings. They are consistently connecting all of their 270 manufacturing plants into this “connecting design” in a progressive fashion.

Bosch has a clear goal “to have each and every electronic component connectable to the internet“. To do this you have to think scale, offer platforms, clear application solutions based in the cloud and understand intimately the hardware and software within the solutions. Bosch is well positioned to deliver on this. Bosch has taken a highly unified view on their approach to this, actually, the more I dug into it the more I was impressed.

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Bosch: A Leading Platform Exemplar of Digitally Connecting

bosch-software-innovation-office-plsHow are organizations dealing with digital transformation and especially IoT? The key has to be one where sustainable success is central.

One company that really has become fully engaged in their digital transformation is Bosch, it is well on its way to being a world-leading IoT solution company, offering its expertise, solutions, and knowledge back into its own products and through this expertise also connecting this out to others, to explore and exploit through Bosch’s platform and cloud solutions.

In focusing here specifically on Bosch, we can get a fairly detailed understanding of what challenges are being tackled to connect products, customers, manufacturers, software providers into a connected world where platforms and ecosystems come alive through technology and digital application.

It is a highly complex set of challenges to complete this digitally connected set of solutions but by studying Bosch in some detail and its approach into this, can give us a very detailed understanding as an exemplary example of what they are undertaking to take a leading position in the IIoT world, to make it fully interoperable and realizable.

This path is not for the majority as they are not as well positioned as Bosch but it does give a good understanding of the level of commitment one company has decided to take, to become a leading provider of platform services in manufacturing and smart solutions.

So why am I looking at Bosch relating to ecosystems and platforms?

Let me explain this, after a fair amount of research into them to provide a detailed (enough) understanding of why I think Bosch is a leading provider of platform digital solutions today I was impressed but will it have the ability to translate this over the long term?

Bosch is seemingly wanting to become the one-stop platform provider for manufacturing and connecting all the digital transformational needs and solutions. Can it? What does this mean, is it heading for a leading de-facto industrial platform? What will other organizations need to do in their digital transformation to sit on top of Bosch’s platform?

Bosch, are for me highly relevant in understanding all the complexity that goes into forming a platform, especially in the manufacturing world today and how they are setting about getting all the parties attracted, linking and setting the conditions for the growing participation in establishing of the ecosystem between parties that are wanted to connect.

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Services, channels and experiences matter in old economy industries

old-economy-vs-new-economyIn my last post I spent some time examining the opportunities and challenges of innovating in an old economy industry – the railroad industry.

For some industries, especially those that are asset-light, innovation can seem so simple.  Creating another compelling feature, service or product on top of an already agile set of capabilities can be pretty straightforward.

For old economy companies with infrastructure, equipment and assets, trying to innovate can seem very difficult, because of the history you have to bring along, and because of the standards, platforms and ecosystems that define your value proposition.

So here’s where both asset light new economy companies (Uber, AirBnB, etc) and old economy, asset rich industries can find common innovation ground.  Continue reading

Revolution, Platforms, Digital and the Huge Impact on Business in the Future

combining-forces-industrie-4-0-and-iccWe are all moving from the simple digitalization (3rd Industrial Revolution) to innovations based on multiple combinations of technologies, ushering in increasingly the 4th Industrial Revolution.

This is forcing everyone doing business to reexamine how they will manage this changing environment. There is a need to challenge existing assumptions, question how the operating teams need to work in the future and be ready to continually innovate.

As we gather increasingly around different platforms to undertake our business, we will continue to extend and exploit ecosystems that share and relate to our existing aims, or radically challenge them to force ‘us’ to make changes to our existing business models, so to achieve different innovation outcomes that radically alter the present business landscape.

There is a major impact on business underway, which will give such a different velocity to accelerating innovation and managing increasing disruption. Continue reading

Where the physical and virtual worlds are blurring, thanks to Alibaba.

alibaba-visual-plus-logoIf ever there is one company in my mind that is at the forefront of building ecosystems, platforms and customer engagement, that is the Alibaba Group.

They are so focused on building the fundamental infrastructure for modern commerce, presently comprising marketplaces, payment. logistics, cloud computing and big data that is ‘collectively’ empowering businesses of all sizes to leverage the internet for their own digital transformation.

So who is Alibaba?

“Alibaba Group is an internet company that aims to make it easy to do business anywhere. Alibaba operates a range of online marketplaces that connects buyers and sellers, with the company providing the technology infrastructure to help merchants, brands and small businesses all over the world reach Chinese consumers. Alibaba’s ecosystem includes e-commerce platforms, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, payments and financial services, logistics, and local services.”

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Facilitating and Planning out the Innovation Ecosystem Thinking

econocom-comI am presently wanting to determine a framework for investigating and facilitating the thinking considerations we need when we consider innovation ecosystems.

Here I’d like you to consider this as an opening set of thoughts that need to come together far more, in ways that can be repeated and applied to the same basic question that requires a thoughtful thinking through.

It moves towards dealing with the question: “what do I need to consider for entering into an innovation ecosystem design?

It is clear work-in-progress and takes a series of my mind maps I have been developing and now attempting to put these into a structure that those wanting to answer this question can begin to explore possibilities and arrive at answers to their needs. Most of this is taking thoughts and beginning to structure these and build on this further. Still, we all should start somewhere in structuring this. I put some building blocks down recently and this continues to build out the thinking.

Firstly setting an innovation ecosystem into context Continue reading