Jason Bloomberg: Seven Reasons Why the Internet of Things is Doomed

ATN-300InsightaaS: Who doesn’t love a curmudgeonly cynic? Well, there are probably many people in that category, but Across the Net is cynic-friendly, and we tend to cast a kindly eye on curmudgeons as well, especially when they are tweaking conventional wisdom. It’s natural, then, that we would be fans of the perspective that author/analyst Jason Bloomberg, managing partner of Intellyx (“Intellyx is the first and only advisory, training, and industry analysis firm focused on architecting agility for the enterprise”) published recently on “seven reasons why the Internet of Things is doomed.” In it, he takes aim at some of the key issues that impede IoT adoption today – security, privacy, the need to assemble ecosystems of components and software, lack of a ‘killer app,’ the need for enterprise customers to continue to invest in core technology rather than the “frosting” of digital transformation – and two issues that may be more difficult to quantify, but could well be even more pernicious than the other five: “digital fatigue” with hyper-connected lives (“Can’t we just download a big-ass OFF switch so we can hear ourselves freakin’ THINK for once?”) and the inherent tension between individuals’ desire to control their own data, and the profit potential associated with corporate control of individual data.

It’s refreshing to see a perspective that doesn’t just blindly follow the notion that IoT is in the midst of an inevitable march to ubiquity. Bloomberg may not be right, but his point of view is well-grounded, and important to understanding some of the issues that may individually and collectively drive IoT in different directions than we currently anticipate, and/or impede the pace of adoption. And whether or not you agree with Bloomberg, it’s refreshing to hear a perspective that concludes, “Peel away all the buzzwords and hype, and you’ll find that the Internet of Things is the Internet of People — an extraordinarily powerful communication and commerce tool, but a tool in human hands nevertheless.”

To paraphrase the immortal Facebook sage, there are three things in this world I hate: 1. Articles about buzzwords; 2: Irony; and 3: Lists. Let us therefore proceed with all due irony to list our derogations of one of the buzziest: the Internet of Things, known to aficionados and curmudgeons alike as the IoT.

The IoT explosion is rather curious if you think about it, as the Internet has been with us now for nigh on two decades, and everything connected to it has always been some kind of thing. But now it seems every kind of thing from dishwashers to doorknobs require an Internet connection, since after all, we all know our dishwashers have long harbored a pent up desire for scintillating conversation with our doorknobs.

Today, the IoT itself is a Thing — a Thing Worth Talking About it seems, from all the conferences, confabs, and conversations it elicits. Because as we all know, where there’s attention, buckets of cash soon follow, and even the most egregious ideas end up with their piece of the pie if only the caterwauling is loud enough. Yet while hype is good for business in the short term, there’s this annoying little problem we call reality that has an inconvenient habit of throwing water all over our Wicked Witch of Inflated Expectations. So, get me a bucket, and here goes…

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