Internet of Things Conference: How Smart, Connected Things Will Change Your Business

June 3, 2015

Last Wednesday nearly two hundred people
from the MA region came together to share insights on the need to rethink
strategies, operations, processes, and technologies when embarking on the
internet of things (IoT).
Delivered by John Clippinger,
Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab
Human Dynamics Group
and Executive Director and CEO of ID3, the keynote address highlighted the
transformative way in which devices have taken the place of people as primary
observers and data gatherers.
Opportunistically, this enables multiple sources to collect
and analyze data providing user experiences and which can have a hugely
positive effect on organizations’ bottom lines. And as machines get smarter,
the experiences continue to get better.
Yet while the technological capabilities continue to grow,
so does the need for defining data ownership, governance, and authentication
measures. And understanding that the antiquated regulations and processes must
be updated to address our current and future needs.
As Clippinger stated “we are creating new classes of assets”
and those all need to be controlled. From the smart televisions in your home
collecting data about your TV habits to your cars collecting data about your
driving behaviors. This data – your data – is owned by the provider. And you,
the consumer, must balance these improved experiences with your sharing your
personal data.
Clippinger wrapped his talk with a set of autonomous governance technologies that
must be considered when multiple devices are collecting data on multiple
stakeholders, across many borders, and a number of owners, including:
  •         Governance without Government
  •         Authorization without Authorities
  •         Regulation with Regulators
  •         Adjudication and Sanction without Lawyers and
  •         Polis without Politicians
  •         Auditing without Auditors

John Clippinger Presentation
Following the keynote, we had a number of sessions that took
deeper dives into different aspects of business strategies, regulatory bodies,
data infrastructure and architects, and security.
In a panel that included Michael Munsey of Dassault Systemes, Andy Thurai of IBM, Rob Purser of Mathworks, Howard Heppelmann
of PTC, and led by Chris Rezendes of INEX Advisors provided their
experiences in redefining how strategic processes are created and implemented.
Asked how each defined IoT in their own views the panelists
talked about better products and experiences, enjoying the benefit of having
better insights and interactions into the world that never existed before, and
understanding that the value derived is for themselves, their customers, and
ultimately their customers’ customers.
Heppelmann expressed how IoT has changed the shape of
business in that the conversations are happening at the CEO level as they flow
back to engineering, sales and marketing, and every aspect and department
within a company. Munsey followed that up with the huge capital investment that
is going to be required, and the multitude of infrastructure providers that are
gambling their futures on supporting IoT infrastructures.
Similarly to a data science team, embarking on IoT will
require a variety of people across the organization each with different skill
sets to build and manage a connected product. Thurai furthered this point by
stating that often it is the CMO or others who want to drive business value and
revenue funding these products.
Dassault Systemes Case Example
Mathworks Case Example 
The next panel, What Big Data Will Require in an IoT World,
moderated by Paul Barth from Podium Data,
included Kris Alexander from Akamai, Chris
Baker from Dyn, and Pavandeep Kalra from Microsoft.
Alexander talked about how the entire model of big data has
been inverted with IoT, whereas the internet has been geared to send massive
amounts of large data sets out, but connected devices are now sending massive
amounts of small data sets back in.
Kalra who focuses much of his work on machine learning,
talked about how more and more there will be a marketplace of machine learning
APIs which you can leverage. He also talked about pushing everything to the
cloud and then testing in that type of safer environment before making any
operational changes.
Baker talked about the importance of obtaining the right
information and putting that back into the device to continue to learn and
redeploy. Baker also said that having a firm understanding of timing when
collecting and redeploying data, such as a pace maker, is the most important
component of an IoT product.
Our next session was a fireside chat style discussion
between Niko Pipaloff of PwC and Said Tabet of
EMC, who was there on behalf of the Industrial Internet
Tabet talked about the IIC’s mission, which is to take IoT
forward. Just a year old, the IIC has already amassed 170 member companies and
is currently running 6 test beds across the globe to help develop the use cases
that companies can use as an example of how to bring the physical and digital
worlds together. .  The IIC’s test beds
can leverage use cases to build the requirements for the future.
Pipaloff spoke of the benefit of having already proven that
working together and offering open standards at with the creation of internet
over two decades before will help us.
They concluded the discussion by reiterating that IoT is
massive and it’s here already and that a number of small organizations must all
come and work together to create the standards and regulations
As the Value of Data panel got underway, it
was very clear that it really is all about the data. But what this stellar
group talked about was how to understand what data you need and why.
According to Rob Patterson from ColdLight, 9 out of 10 companies coming out of
academia are based on artificial intelligence technology – highly data
intensive. Combining the AI with machine learning and skilled talent, the
intelligence gained can be enormous.
Don Schuerman from Pegasystems,
talked about the best insights coming from multiple devices connected to each
other to discover external drivers and changing the outcomes.
Subu Ramasamy from Philips Lighting
talked through a number of case studies in which creating connected lighting
could provide efficiencies through measuring occupancy rates, not just in
energy consumption, but also in cleaning or stocking particular offices based
on use. He went on to say, customers are not looking for technologies they are
looking for services.
When probed by the moderator, Jeff Kaplan of THINKstrategies, the panel members all
agreed challenges were around the complexities surrounding the variety of data
sources and sets as well as the the limited talent that exists today.
The conference closed on perhaps the most important topic of
the day, security. Editor in Chief of Security
, Paul Roberts facilitated a discussion between Brandon Creighton of Veracode and Paddy Srinivasan of Xively by LogMeIn.
The panelists talked about the first step – identifying there
is a very real problem. And they stressed that today we are in a world where
every vertical now needs to have an information security mindset, but
unfortunately that is not the case.
Srinivasan and Creighton spend a great deal of time talking
with their customers about what risks exist in products that do not have
operating systems.
Srinivasan went on to suggest that he urges customers to
follow a multi-step process that includes: uniquely identify each connected
device, then securing the information that is coming from the device to the cloud.
And once the device and communication are secured, there is then a need to
secure and ID the data and assign permissions and actors to that data.
Creighton concludes his remarks with stressing that until
there are established protocols for IoT, to have have your engineers do
security training, understand what the basic code mistakes are, and then retain
security experts to review the architecture and communications networks. And
the most important thing is to do this during the development, not as an add-on.

Thank to our Platinum Sponsors: Mathworks, PTC, and PwC

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