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4 components to succeeding in a digital world: data and the Internet of Things [part three and four]

Digital Maturity

The world we live in is vastly different to what it was just a couple of years ago. There can be no doubting that in years to come people will look back on the current era as the one that fundamentally changed way we interact. Forever.

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In my previous two articles, I explained how having cogent mobile and social strategies is vital to surviving the changes we’re all currently experiencing. In this piece I will focus on the roles Data and the Internet of Things have to play.

Data

The third step in succeeding in a digital world is data. The buzz word often associated around this is ‘big data’. The trick however is to look past the BIG and focus on the DATA.

What does this mean? Well it means that we need to start using data to uncover the insights, as small or large as they may be, to be able to deliver value to our customers.

One of the ways we do this is through tools like online reputation management (you can read about ORM in one of my previous articles).

ORM allows us to listen into conversations and pick up on the small things that are generally overlooked or missed. But it’s not only about ORM — whatever your company data sources are, even if they are not all in the same place, the next step is analyze this data, convert it into knowledge and then communicate that with your team.

Data is one of the biggest assets your company has, but few companies use it to its full potential. Understanding data — why it exists, where it exists, how it exists — helps us deliver on a deeper, more insightful level of customer, and business, understanding.

Data allows us increased knowledge of our user’s behaviour providing a better basis for making decisions for future digital strategies. Using data to understand issues within your business or that customer’s face allow you to make better decisions, as well as better delivery, products and communication.

We need to convert data into knowledge, and knowledge into strategy. Once you’ve mastered that you’re on track to succeeding in a digital world.

The Internet of Things

The fourth and final component of succeeding in a digital world is the Internet of Things. But what is the Internet of Things really?

Until fairly recently humans were responsible for the capturing, analysis and input of the data available on the internet. The issue with that is that people have limited time, accuracy and attention spans which means that capturing data about things in the real world becomes challenging.

In today’s world nearly everything we do is dependent on data but it seems that this data is more focused around people’s ideas as opposed to actual real life things. Close this gap and herein lies the real value. Hello Internet of Things.

Let machines do the talking
Instead of having people input ideas and assumptions about the world, we’re starting to see the rise of computers and machines starting to gather data without any human help.

By using technology to enable us to gather data, as well as track, count and monitor it, it will not only improve accuracy but speed up the timeframe and quality of the data being captured.

By allowing computers and machines to talk to each other to uncover insights we as humans are not able to, we will begin to use that data more effectively and productively. For example, we would be able to know when things need replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their date. Just like the internet did not so long ago, the Internet of Things has the potential to change the world.

Wearable tech
The first stage of the Internet of Things coming into play in real life environments is the rise of wearable tech.

Wearable technologies like Google Glass, the Nike+ FuelBand, and Samsung Galaxy Gear are still in their infancy, but this is just the first generation.

A new study from Rackspace titled “The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Productivity” reports that 18% of the population in the United States and United Kingdom are using wearable technology, and the majority of those users (82% of Americans and 71% of Brits) say these devices are making their lives better.

Beyond providing users with real-time data about their health or an augmented view of the world, wearable technologies will form an integral part of the “Internet of things,” the logical evolution of the cloud and big data.

The idea is to enable sensor-equipped “things” to communicate with one another in meaningful, actionable ways.

“The rich data created by wearable tech will drive the rise of the ‘human cloud’ of personal data,” says Chris Brauer, co‐director of CAST at Goldsmiths, University of London. “With this comes countless opportunities to tap into this data; whether it’s connecting with third parties to provide more tailored and personalized services or working closer with health care institutions to get a better understanding of their patients.”

One thing to bear in mind is that as wearable technologies interact with other people and the environment of the user, potential privacy or copyright issues can arise, although it’s important to remember that these issues already exist, but the new technology will make it easier to happen.

It will be interesting to see how wearable tech and the Internet of Things start integrating into everyday life and business practices. In order to succeed in a digital world one always needs to be thinking ahead and looking to future technology to know how to develop the next step in your strategy.

The Internet of Things is still in its infancy but those who adopt it early and start thinking around these principles will be the ones who succeed digitally.


This digital business framework was developed by DigitLab CEO Mike Saunders and CTO Stephan Gardner. Mike is an international key note speaker for Tomorrow Today and respected thought leader in the industry

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