Comdex 2016 set a new style of a digital world record in the annals of the Guinness Book for Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously. Through this spectacular show, Intel showcased 100 drones dazzling the sky with a fantastic light and sound effect. A key reason why this was recognized and acknowledged to be a world record by Guinness is because it was an all-drone show. Every one of the 100 objects in the sky was a drone -- an unmanned aerial vehicle -- or, in my books, a citizen of the IoT. However, as I watch the show multiple times, I begin to wonder if there are some sublime messages being sent to enterprises today by these drones -- a la Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. While the individual drones have their place in the Internet of Things, what appeals to the human eye and ear is the synchronization of the audio and visual effects against a backdrop of technology at its best. It is almost as if these drones are on a mission to align technology with business while maximizing the value of the information about their geo-spatial location. Should sound like music to the ears of the competitive enterprises of tomorrow.
Three key messages jump out as I closely observe the show in its entirety: Data Matters, Information Matters and Business Matters. Let me explain.
1. Data Matters. Each of these drones is a “thing” in its own right within the Internet of Things carrying data about itself as well as its location and motion vectors. Message: No matter what the source is -- application, system, software, hardware, storage, devices, humans -- the data that is resident and captured on that entity matters. It is the fundamental unit of IT that enterprises have to work with -- and has been so ever since the dawn of IT.
2. Information Matters. However data by itself goes only so far. Take one of these drones out of this show and work with 99 instead. Suddenly the lone drone will not be perceived adding as much value as the remaining 99 put together. It is the unique formations that actually transform the individual data islands into a cohesive visual story that leaves the 5-year old in the crowd gaping open-mouthed and awestruck! Message: Connecting these “things” with context is absolutely vital to generate the information that matters to the enterprise. As Gartner VP, Massimo Pezzini indicates, shake up your integration strategy to enable digital transformation.
3. Business Matters. However, the third and final message that brings it home for me is the synchronization between the classical audio music in the background with the dynamic visual technology in the foreground. The Informational story presented must align with the business of music -- lock and step. Every technological act perceived by the eye is immediately resonating in the human ear with the music. What makes this even more symbolic is the fact that the genre of music itself is not new by any means. It is the time-tested classical music that continues to earn the respect of the connoisseurs with a refined taste for the arts. The same music would have drawn the appreciation of the crowds centuries back. Message: The business of the enterprise has not really changed. The enabling technology has. However, the enabling technology -- however “cool” it is -- adds value only if it is aligned with the business .
Music to my ears.
Those are the key messages that jump out at me when I watch this ground-breaking technological show by Intel. The real question is whether enterprises of today are taking these messages to heart and challenging themselves with the following questions:
- What are the key data sources across the ecosystem of the enterprise?
- How is information gleaned out of these data sources with context?
- Do the technological initiatives align lock and step with the business objectives?
Competitive enterprises of tomorrow will have the answers to these questions today.
Take that from one enterprise that is competitive today -- as demonstrated by its cutting-edge drone technology.