De Tijd: According to Mark Curtis, founder of the global design and innovation consultancy Fjord, what we now call the Internet of Things (IoT) will soon be called an Internet of People and Services. Each phase of the digital revolution has its own devices: first came the desktop and laptop, then the smartphone and tablet, and now we have the smartwatch and smartglass. “The media have an almost obsessive attention to hardware. But actually, it is all about the services that you can access with these devices”, says Mark Curtis. “Following the era of fixed and mobile Internet, we are now entering a third digital era of “living services”. An era that will be dominated by sensors, what we now call the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud services, artificial intelligence, etc. All these things are coming together. The catalyst to launch this market is the ever-decreasing price of internet connections”.
As an example of “living service”, Mark Curtis mentions Amazon as a company that already provides living services to its customers. “I recently tried out their new personal assistant, Alexa. That thing will be the gradual demise of brands. Why? If you are out of bread, you will ask Alexa to buy bread, without specifying which brand it should be. It then becomes very difficult as a brand to influence purchasing decision”.
In order for companies to be prepared to face these new disruptive aspects, Mark Curtis advises them “to think like Uber” and to get to know their customers better than their competitors do. “That’s easier said than done, and you can’t know everything. Make choices. Then make sure that your organization is flexible, for example by providing products and services in real time. And finally, you must develop a vision for the company that you want to be in the future”.
As a conclusion, Mark Curtis thinks the increasing privacy laws could slow down the evolution and digital transformation in some countries, but it will not stop it. “I find the whole debate around security and privacy often overrated and exaggerated, even if it is true that there are some ethical and social issues that we must address”.
Read the original article in De Tijd.