Rolling out some new Blogs 



Blog 1: 5 Internet Of Things Trends Everyone Should Know About

2019 will see the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more deeply embedded in our day-to-day lives at home and at work. We may begin to hear the term itself used less frequently – but that’s because it’s moving out of the hype phase and quickly becoming a part of everyday life.

Soon, it will be taken for granted that pretty much any device we own – cars, TVs, watches, kitchen appliances can go online and communicate with each other. In industry too, tools and machinery are increasingly intelligent and connected, generating data that drives efficiency and enables new paradigms such as predictive maintenance to become a reality, rather than a pipe-dream. In fact, it is predicted that by the end of 2019 there will be 26 billion connected devices around the world.

Here are five predictions about how this is likely to play out over the next 12 months as we become increasingly used to the fact that the internet isn’t just something we connect to using computers and smartphones, but virtually anything we can think of:

 Businesses will get serious about IoT

According to research by Forrester, businesses will lead the surge in IoT adoption in 2019, with 85% of companies implementing or planning IoT deployments this year.

IoT clearly offers huge benefits to businesses. Some examples we have seen in recent years include mannequins that can communicate with customers’ smartphones in retail environments, beaming information about products on display. Manufacturing, however, is the clear leader when it comes to IoT deployment. Here, throughout 2019, businesses will increasingly see the value in connected machinery that is capable of reporting every detail of its operating parameters and efficiency to other smart, connected devices. Predictive maintenance is something that has been promised for a while by tech evangelists but is currently only achieved by the biggest players who have invested heavily in IoT for several years now. With a growing understanding of when these solutions are (or aren’t) useful, these solutions will start to trickle down to smaller organizations, that can be confident that their investments will pay off.

Devices will become more vocal

Just as the standard internet gave all of us a voice – the IoT will give everything we own a voice, too. We’re getting used to using our voices to control smart home devices such as Amazon’s Alexa hub, or Apple’s Siri. But 2019 will be the year that the rest of our possessions find their own voice. Virtually every car manufacturer is working on virtual assistants to help drivers more safely and conveniently operate vehicles while behind the wheel. And voice control (with natural-language driven feedback) will increasingly become an option for industrial and enterprise technology.

Voice control makes sense in many ways as it keeps our hands free to operate controls that still need manual input, and our eyes free to watch for hazards. It also represents a further removal of the barriers of communication between humans and machines. To start with we were entirely reliant on programming them with computer code, before user interfaces and graphical environments and dashboards began to be used, lowering the barriers to entry. Voice recognition and generation (known as natural language processing) is the logical next step towards making technology that anyone can use to work more effectively or improve their lives.

More computing moving to the edge

Edge computing refers to algorithms that are run at the “edges” of a network – usually at the point where the network touches the real world, such as within sensors and cameras themselves.

The fact is that a huge amount of data collected by these devices will be useless. A good example is a security camera – it may have to pass terabytes of video data to a central server, or cloud, but the only data of any importance will be the few megabytes showing suspicious or illegal activity.

When these devices are capable of carrying out their own computation, rather than dumbly passing information on to be processed in the cloud, networks become less clogged with traffic and more computing power is available for the important tasks. In the above example, image recognition algorithms running on hardware and software installed in the camera itself would analyze the footage for suspicious activity, and only useful video data would be passed on to the cloud for further processing and storage.

Artificial Intelligence will increasingly drive IoT development and deployment

Artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT are closely related areas of technology. The IoT is useful and powerful because of the enormous amount of data that it generates. When you have hundreds or thousands of machines all talking to each other in an industrial network, analyzing the mountains of data that are created is beyond the ability of humans. Training machine learning algorithms to spot outliers in the data that could indicate opportunities for efficiency, or provide early warning of an upcoming problem, is the primary task of AI within an IoT environment.

As IoT networks increase in size and complexity, they will become increasingly reliant on new developments in AI and machine learning. AI also has a huge part to play in keeping IoT systems secure, through automated threat detection systems.

5G networks will broaden the scope and availability of IoT

This year should see the switching-on of the first consumer-ready 5G networks, that could operate up to 20 times faster than existing mobile data networks. IoT is reliant on speed and availability of data services, and today there are still many locations that are effectively “dark” when it comes to smart, connected tech, due to a lack of availability of these services.

With mobile networks that are even faster and more stable than the cable networks we’re used to connecting to in our homes and offices today, the scope of IoT projects can broaden dramatically. Ideas such as the “smart city” – where civic amenities are networked and the data analyzed to create cleaner, more efficient urban living environments – become more viable. The technology used by self-driving, autonomous cars, and public transport vehicles will also greatly benefit from the increased bandwidth available.

Blog 2: In Leadership, Influence Is Not A Given

It’s amazing how many people believe that once they obtain a certain title or level of leadership, people will automatically respect and listen to them. They believe that with that title comes influence. It would be nice if it were that easy, but unfortunately, it’s not. Leadership and influence are not interchangeable. Your title may mean people report to you, and it may give you the power to control them, but influence is about producing results and creating change. It’s the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something. As a leader, you have the ability to impact a person’s character and behavior a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

So how does a leader gain or earn influence?

Most leaders are busy trying to use their intelligence. In other words, they want to impress people with what they know. Although the brain is a very important part of influence, the brain only validates what the heart believes.

As a leader, you can gain more influence by tapping into the “heart” of those you want to affect. Here are some questions to ask yourself to gain influence with anyone, including family, friends, those you lead, peers and your leaders.

 1. How well do you know the people you want to influence? We are most influenced by people who know, understand and respect us. Having influence over someone won’t come overnight. Spend time getting to know your team and showing them that they can trust you and work with you. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”2. Are you liked by the people you want to influence? People want to be led by people they like. This does not mean you are their “best buddy,” but it does mean you are a connected, concerned leader – both to the vision of the team you lead and to the people individually. Reflect on your relationship with the people you want to influence, and determine what may need to change.

3. Are you committed to the people you want to influence? If you are not committed to your team, why should they have any reason to listen to you? People are influenced by people they can rely on. Your team will be motivated to listen to you when they can tell you are invested in them. Otherwise, there will be a lack of trust and a lack of change. Find ways to show your team that you are committed to them on a group level and on an individual level.

4. Are the people you want to influence committed to you? Commitment works both ways. In order for influence to occur, you need to be committed to your team, but they also need to be committed to you. When they are committed to you and your vision, you will easily be able to gain their influence. Have conversations with your team to discover what they are committed to, and help make sure everyone is on the same page.

5. Are you strong, focused and a good example to those you want to influence? When you set a good example, people will naturally want to follow you. Position yourself as a leader with a strong goal and an ability to meet that goal. People want to follow people who are going somewhere.

If you take the time to go through these questions personally and with those you are striving to influence, you will be able to come up with an action plan to be more influential. Once you create that action plan, share it with someone who can hold you accountable.

You may have been given a title of authority, but being a leader of influence is up to you. Kenneth H. Blanchard says, “The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” We need fewer title-driven leaders and more influential leaders. Will you be one to step up to the plate? What are some other ways you have gained influence over others?

February 2019, writer: CICO Staff Reporter.

Motivational message:
Let’s be conscious of what we have and what is Real