The world transitioned significantly during the first 20-years of the internet. A uniquely new transition took hold in 2015. This was a transition into the digital economic era which has taken over the world’s growth mantle. In this new era, national economies are being commoditized and traditional markets are being disrupted. This era is being driven by possibilities from innovative digital technologies. While there is commoditization and disruption, there is also a significant upside in new markets, new wealth, and new levels of social wellbeing. Nations and businesses, which take advantage of the transition, will benefit the most. A race of nations is already underway to implement Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 utilizes automated robotic production and integrated logistics to modernize manufacturing for mass customization, consistent quality, and competitive unit cost structures.
Internet of Things (IoT) terminology encapsulates Industry 4.0 but more broadly the concept of digital automation. Key principle behind IoT is the collection of measurement data and then use of advanced data analytics to augment decision making. IoT is not new and has been used by industry for decades to manage output quality and production. The difference now is that IoT can cost-effectively scale to benefit all of humanity and not just some sectoral industries. This scale is unprecedented in world history, enabled by discrete technologies which have emerged and converged over the last 10 years. These are device, network, and cloud processing technologies. Smart sensor devices have been miniaturized and can be easily deployed with batteries that might last up to 10 years. Networks can connect tens of billions of devices, each with a defined service type. Cloud processing can cost effectively serve massive volumes of data and applications out of data centers connecting with every device. These mean that anything and anyone can be connected and automatically assisted.
Hyper-Connectedness Is A Phenomenon And It Describes Our World That Is Evolving From Billions Of Digitally Connected People To Tens Of Billions Of Connected People And ‘Things’
Increasingly, there is a requirement for real-time or near real-time data and applications. Evolutionary examples include autonomous vehicles, remote robotic medical surgery, and drone aerial goods delivery. IoT promises substantial benefits including strong national economies, more sustainable environments, and greater social wellbeing. This is all because digital technologies are improving inter-connectedness of people and objects and facilitating deep connectedness to the environment around them. This vast multi-dimensional connectedness can be described by the term “hyper-connectedness”.
Hyper-connectedness is a phenomenon and it describes our world that is evolving from billions of digitally connected people to tens of billions of connected people and “things”. This is the new commodity world of mass customization. It is the world driven by sophisticated intelligence and extreme levels of automation. Hyper-connectedness demands a distinctive type of personal leadership and it starts with having an open mind to the almost infinite number of possible new applications and markets. Joshua Ramo, in his book titled, “The Seventh Sense” describes hyper-connectedness and the constant state of market shock we can expect, as digital technologies continuously disrupt. Some classic examples include Uber which disrupted the taxi industry, Amazon which disrupted the retail sector, and Airbnb which disrupted the travel accommodation sector. A great practical illustration of the “seventh sense” is to consider a simple glass of water. The question to ask is what more you could do with a glass of water if it was, in some way, digitally connected. Ask several people and ideas might surface like test the water quality, capture the amount of water taken over time, or assess the nutrient value of the water. The possibilities are limited by imagination and business models. Leaders must, therefore, be open to multi-sourcing innovation from anybody in any context. Through unleashing people’s collaborative and digital creativity, it will be possible to stake a solid claim to the future. Leaders have a new obligation to actualize hyper-connectedness. Economies and businesses which cultivate this ‘seventh sense’ will derive competitive advantage in the highly-commoditized world.
Nokia serves global markets of communication service providers, governments, large enterprises, and consumers. It invests substantially in the research and development of an end-to-end portfolio of digital network infrastructure products, services, and licensing. The world is moving at a fast pace and network infrastructures are evolving with 5G and the IoT. 5G is a mobile technology that goes way further than the current 4G networks today. It is being designed for the digital economic era to meet the needs of IoT applications dependent not only on connectivity but also on bandwidth, latency, ultra-reliability, and effective cyber security. Nokia is pushing boundaries to shape the future of technology to positively transform the human experience. Through Nokia’s Bell Labs research, Nokia is developing cognitive, self-learning networks that will fluidly respond to how we all live and work. These will enable next generation IoT applications for a profoundly better world.