Last Friday Cisco Systems presented their Internet of Everything index in Sydney looking at how connected machines are changing business and society.
Cisco Australia CEO Ken Boal gave the company’s vision of how a connected society might work in the near future with alarm clocks synchronising with calendars, traffic lights adapting to weather and road conditions while the local coffee shop has your favourite brew waiting for as the barista knows exactly when you will arrive.
While that vision is somewhat spooky, Boal had some important points for business, primarily that in Cisco’s view there is $14 trillion dollars in value to be realised from utilising the internet of machines.
Much of that value is “being left on the table” in Boal’s words with nearly 50% of businesses not taking advantage of the new technologies.
Boal was particularly worried about Australian businesses with Cisco lumping the country into ‘beginner’ status in adopting internet of everything technologies along with Mexico and Russia, with all three lagging far behind Germany, Japan and France.
In Boal’s view, Australian management’s failure is due to “the focus on streamlining costs has come at the cost of innovation.”
This something worth thinking about; in a business environment where most industries only have two dominant players and the corporate mindset is focused on maximising profits and staying a percentage point or two ahead of the other incumbent, being an innovator itsn’t a priority – it might even be a disadvantage.
For Australian business, and society, that complacency is a threat which leaves the nation exposed to the massive changes our world is undergoing.