Thursday March 5, 2015
Maybe you’ve heard the term ‘Internet of Things’ now and again, I’ve seen it in two twitter posts in the last 24 hours alone. What does it mean? And more importantly what are the implications for HR and business in general?
If in your busy scheme of things you’ve not really thought about it very much, if you want to stay ahead, it’s time to do just that. The Internet of Things is not as bizarre as it sounds; as Gartner summarises,
‘The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.’
Put a little more simply (because making things clear and simple is what we’re about) it’s connecting everything, to the Internet through technology. By 2008 the number of things connected to the Internet had exceeded the number of people on earth. By 2020 there will be 50 billion of these ‘things’ as this infographic by Cisco predicts. It also explains in real life scenarios how we will be all utilising this phenomenon day to day in an, as yet, unimaginable, life.
As The Guardian reported recently, Samsung have committed to making it happen, and with a protocol in place that means there are 100 internet addresses for each atom on the planet, it’s not going away anytime soon. HR expert Michael Habermanis already predicting the monitoring of employee sweat to measure wellbeing (!) - with existing technology. Haberman quotes futurist Thomas Frey in that eventually we’ll collect data on ourselves to allow a sphere of information that can measure creativity, skill sets, strengths and areas of development. It’s all the intangible stuff that isn’t currently sitting on a CV and could certainly have an impact on the hit and miss that is finding the right people to fit the organisation and then retaining them.
So what should HR be doing right now to prepare for The Internet of Things?
Get on line, but more importantly, get responsive
Smartphones have nearly caught up with PC/laptops in terms of popularity to search the internet. 91% of people use a PC/laptop to search the internet whereas 80% of people use a phone. We are ‘past the mobile tipping point’ and it’s predicted mobiles will take over this year – are all of your technologies fully optimised?
Look out for innovators
The trend for end to end SAAS providers has come and gone – find cool innovative providers who can develop fast and will work with you to move their product forward, it’s a win:win. We did just this with DeVere Hotels and Village Urban Resorts; a project that saw us win the CIPD HR consultancy of the year and Personnel Today HR supplier partner titles in 2014. See the impact it had on their business here
Utilise the igeneration
You will have ‘digital natives’ within your business who know this stuff, almost as second nature; who are genuinely excited by it and the possibilities it opens up and who and want to help you pave the way of the future – if you give them the opportunity. Think about reverse mentoring, focus groups and pulse check surveys to tap into skills and knowledge you don’t even know exists.
Is the Internet of Things in your vocabulary now?