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Will the world live as one? Wither IoT...

John Lennon said  “You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.” 


In the technology news recently, was one item that probably passed you by- Cisco, IBM, GE and AT&T have launched the Industrial Internet Consortium, an open membership group that aims to break down technology silo barriers and drive better big data access with improved integration between digital and physical worlds.  Woop-de-do I hear you say!  However "Ninety-nine percent of everything is still unconnected," said Guido Jouret, vice president of Internet of Things Business Group for Cisco. "As the world looks to connect more things over the Internet, it is creating the next industrial revolution. One of the implications of the growth of technology and data is that everything starts to get connected together.  This is known as the internet of Things.   


There has been a lot of  interest in the way in which the internet can be used to connect your household items as well as other devices to you and to each other.  The world of tiny sensors that react to movement, light, vibration and temperature mean that they can all be connected in some way.  By 2020, it is predicted that the entire Internet of Things will have a market value of over £6 trillion.   Research firm, IDC expects a globally installed base of the internet of Things will reach around 212 billion things by the end of 2020, including 30 billion installed connected autonomous things.   Cisco tops that with 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. 


In the main it is seen that the smartphone is going to be central in this universe.   The challenge for marketers of brands is to understand getting mobile right today is important to establishing best practices and foundational expertise needed to manage an automated future.  The smartphone is just the beginning of the revolution!


But what does it mean?  The implications are that you will be able, both as a corporation and as an individual with the end consumer of your product.  In the case of wealth management this would mean your clients, be they advisory or discretionary.


How will you be able to communicate with them?  The idea is that these sensors or “things” will allow you to do a number of activities.   Firstly you will be able to notify these sensors that something has happened.  This could be associated with a special offer based on knowing that a client is approaching somewhere and then communicate that offer to the client based on that information.  This is already used with apps on mobile phones that text you an offer based on you being near a particular restaurant.

The other part of the information process will be the gathering of information over time, and marrying that information together with other source information.  For example you could have a sensor that indicated where you were in the country at any one time.  Over a period of time that would allow a map to be drawn of where you have been and then perhaps use that information to give an indication of where you might go in the future.    It could extend to your house being a “thing” that you communicate with so that you can for example, sign for a parcel from your office.  As the parcel- which itself is a “thing” crosses your threshold and links in with your wireless network at home, a notification is sent to you and then you accept it.

In the area of health, there can be monitoring of health with “wearables” such as pebble watches and some of the latest wristbands such as Nike Fit.  This could mean that over time we could be getting an alert that tells us not to drink the next glass of wine in the wine bar, since it could take you over a major health threshold.  It could also be used to determine insurance premiums - which might be bad news for some people.

The idea I most enjoy is the scenario of the commute home. The popular traffic app, Waze, works with your home to estimate the time you arrive and starts to warm or cool your home. It starts to preheat the stove. When you pull into your driveway, your car automatically connects to your home network and starts to download all the vitals of your vehicle and you, because of your FitBit or Nike FuelBand. New songs bought on iTunes are downloaded to your car and based on your diet for the day, your refrigerator is displaying a recipe on its digital display based on the calories you need and the food available inside the appliance.

What will it mean for Financial Services?  The growth of utilities in Financial services, such as banking platforms and fund supermarkets means that these platforms now hold a lot of data on what your clients or potential clients hold and how they trade.  The marrying of that data with environmental data such as house prices, council taxes, and spending data around where the clients work or ( based on their wearable) where they travel to and through, gives you a view on how valuable that client is to you, but more importantly than that, how valuable that client may be to your competitors.

With great wealth comes great responsibility, and the owners of financial services  firms also have to be vigilant against fraud.  The combination of these Big Data ideas with the internet of Things means that fraud prevention and detection becomes easier.  The taking on of clients could incorporate not just a check of where they have data stored in systems like credit agencies, but could also incorporate a check on their movements and spending patterns, and trawl through the internet to find additional information.

In the wealth management industry we have traditionally been laggers in adopting technological advances, and we should bear this in mind.  The use of communication platforms within wealth focus almost entirely on paper, telephone and email.  This means that many of the social networks are being ignored.  I say do so at your peril.  There are many platforms out there –such as corporate social platforms which create walled gardens where communities can be formed, and that start you down the road of using communication as your way of being part of the conversation. 

If you think about the connectivity that can occur with the world when the internet of “things” starts to become a reality- then the whole world becomes as one!



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