Internet of Things (IoT) leadership dinner with Restoration Partners, June 2015

Goldman Sachs has described the Internet of Things (IoT) as the next technology mega trend, representing the 3rd wave of the internet. Samsung’s CEO has said that all of its products would be connected to the internet within five years. IoT has been reported as the number one trend at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and Gartner’s research indicates that 4.9 billion ‘things’ will be connected by the end of this year.

But what is IoT? What are the opportunities and the threats for incumbents and innovators? To find out, we partnered with Mike Kennedy and Tim McSweeney at tech specialists, Restoration Partners, to host 23 senior TMT executives and IoT pioneers for a discussion over dinner in central London on 11 June 2015.

With an agenda entirely driven by the attendees, the key discussion themes were:

  • Questions, questions, questions – What is it? Is there a market for IoT?  Will it happen? Should it happen?  What will it do for me?
  • What is the problem IoT is seeking to solve? It was generally agreed that IoT was not solving “a problem”, but rather it represented the evolution to something better. Value add is therefore the raison d’etre for IoT.
  • Data – described by one as “data is the next electricity” – featured very strongly in the discussion. Who owns the data was a question that featured very strongly, as does some of the technology challenges associated with handling large volumes of data.
  • But beware the hand of regulation – IoT is about monetising data, responsibly, and intelligently so it delivers value to the consumer.
  • Things are commodities, services based on intelligent data management are sticky.
  • The consumer. It was widely agreed that consumers would not be aware of IoT, and that IoT would not be promoted by the industry in the same way as 4G for example. Most importantly, IoT provides an opportunity for a connected – rather than a transactional – relationship with the consumer. But, beware not satisfying a clear customer need.
  • Big business. Big business would have to innovate or collaborate in response to IoT.
  • Moore’s Law makes the unimaginable possible. Incumbents need to innovate or collaborate to remain relevant in response to IoT.
  • The emergence of the Internet of Me: connected people.
  • The conclusion – incumbents and innovators don’t have to bet the farm – collaboration wins!

The Spectrum & Restoration Partners Leadership Dinners are an invitation-only forum for peer-level strategic discussion and relationship building.  To register your interest in attending our next London event, please contact: