What is the Industrial Internet's biggest impact on your area of expertise?
As the leading voice for mobile application developers, we see the Industrial Internet as a critical part of the smart device revolution. While smartphones and tablets by themselves are amazing, their power to transform our world comes from interconnectivity. It is their ability to harness huge amounts of data and display it instantly on a 4” screen that is utterly world changing.
We see the Industrial Internet opening entirely new avenues of productivity and job growth. While initial smartphone growth was driven by fun apps for consumers, we now see every company looking to change the way they interact with customers, partners and employees to better reflect the mobility of today’s devices
But there is uncertainty out there. As the internet economy has grown, lawmakers have walked a fine line between encouraging its development and reacting to unexpected events, both good and bad. The Industrial Internet opens up an entirely new chapter of the online revolution and dealing with its unanticipated implications for the economy will be an important conversation for years to come.
What inefficiencies exist in your profession that the Industrial Internet could address?
As the executive director of a trade group representing more than 5,000 companies, I hear stories of inefficiency nearly every day. I am ever hopeful that the move to the Industrial Internet would help us to solve a myriad of issues, but there are three places where I am focusing considerable attention: First is healthcare. While great strides have been made to improve the adoption of electronic health records and other data practices within the medical field, there are still multi-billion dollar opportunities to help use data and fast transmission to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Going forward, lawmakers and regulators will need to examine medical improvement with efficiency and performance in mind.
Second, we see the Industrial Internet and smart devices changing education for the better. Right now, states and localities are instituting programs that put tablets into the hands of every child. On the surface, this will make backpacks 20 lbs. lighter, but that’s not where the greatest benefit is. We are seeing the great potential of internet-connected devices to improve the efficacy of education, not just make for a lighter textbook.
Finally, the Industrial Internet is changing how we manage our money. Simple tools already allow us to bank online, and innovative technologies are making it possible to exchange funds between two mobile devices without needing a credit card or pen. Adding the power of analytics to this equation will further change how we borrow money for our business and where we invest those funds.
In simple terms, the Industrial Internet promises to unlock significant capacity that will translate to new jobs, more efficient services and consumer benefits.
It can be difficult to estimate the direct benefit many industries have on the nation’s economic bottom line. When the Industrial Internet is fully realized, entirely new volumes of data will be revealed that help policymakers craft more informed and thoughtful regulations. Being able to peer into the real-time industrial engine of the economy will be enormously powerful.
Which industries will the Industrial Internet impact most?
The Industrial Internet and similar resources will greatly increase our need for highly skilled software engineers. Innovation centers in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York and Austin are already starved for these workers and a shortage (attributed to educational deficiencies and immigration challenges) is slowing the growth and deployment of new technologies. I sincerely hope that the promise of the Industrial Internet will encourage our nation to focus on developing the types of workers that can deliver it rapidly.
Morgan Reed is executive director of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). Reed is a widely known and respected expert on the government impact on technology innovation. As ACT’s Executive Director, Morgan specializes in the federal government’s impact on innovation. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @morganwreed.