Today I’m at IoT World in Santa Clara, California, the largest Internet of Things-focused event in North America. For four days, more than 12,000 leaders and innovators are focusing on top technologies, strategies and case studies “to make IoT dreams a reality.”
My talk will be less focused on nitty gritty technical details than asking leaders across IoT to think of themselves as ambassadors for the digital age and to focus on some of the bigger questions.
What’s the larger purpose of these new tools we have? How can we create value for society while also addressing some of the concerns about what this will mean for the workforce?
The digital revolution has already transformed our consumer lives and personal lives in countless ways. We’ve seen information technology get incorporated into business models as well.
But IoT is the new frontier. Here’s where we get to take emerging technology and apply it across the physical world.
As we work to make the IoT a reality, we have a bigger opportunity – call it our real mission – to shape human lives and the world we live in. We have an opportunity not only to create new business value – but to actually change the world and expand what is humanly possible.
Connected infrastructure can help cities reduce emissions, improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. Connected factories can make real what matters for society – and make those things a lot faster – with less energy and with higher levels of safety.
With data in the cloud and operational technology online, Siemens’ IoT operating system – MindSphere – can help customers start exploring the art of the possible.
Yet we think that knowledge generated by MindSphere, rather than being an endpoint, should also start conversations with customers. It should kick off a new process of co-creation and innovation. Together, we can produce results that are specifically tailored to unique pain points and opportunities while creating value for society.
That’s why, in addition to broadening our digital portfolio, we’ve expanded our physical presence with the launch of our global Mindsphere Application Centers. Eight of them can be found across the United States, each concentrating on a slightly different domain.
Each Mindsphere Application Center has data scientists and engineers working side by side with customers to brainstorm and test ideas. By bringing diverse perspectives into the same room, these centers become forums for taking what the data tells us and using it to connect the dots, solve problems, and develop applications for our digital future.
Our commitment to these centers is reinforced by the financial investments we are making to help drive innovation. Every year, Siemens invests more than a billion dollars in R&D in the United States.
We’re also working hard to recruit the workforce we need for these innovation hubs – particularly workers with engineering, computer science, and software programming skills. We’ve already hired nearly 150 people for the Mindsphere Application Centers in several cities.
We think navigating an increasingly interconnected world becomes less complicated if we work together and share our strengths. At a Mindsphere Application Center, we can plan the journey together, using data to map out where we want to go and our collective ideas to figure out the steps we need to take to get there. It’s part of how Siemens is joining leaders at IoT World in making the IoT a reality and, in the process, staying focused on changing the world.