Getting there from here: The shift in thought and action we need to make

Aug. 24, 2017
How does the building automation industry make the transformation that it needs to undergo? This "Getting there from here" discussion deals with the shift in thinking and in action that we all have to make in order to deal with the rapid change that is upon us.

Our most recent article, Autonomous Actions on the Intelligent Edge and our education sessions at AHRExpo Chicago, The Future of Building Automation - Data at the Open Intelligent Edge both have a common theme: How does the building automation industry make the transformation that it needs to undergo? This "Getting there from here" discussion deals with the shift in thinking and in action that we all have to make in order to deal with the rapid change that is upon us.

The building automation industry needs to follow the auto industry in reinventing itself to think and act like the software companies we are morphing into. Who will become the new Building Data Architects and the virtual building software companies of the future? How will we create value from our new-found data and bring it back to the hive to discover new ways of delivering comfort, health and satisfaction in our buildings?

One positive aspect of this transformation is that so many of the new people coming into our industry are creators and makers. The “new kids on the block” understand IoT and they grasp the importance of open standards. Importantly, they dislike the current propitiatory approach, thinking rightly it will only hinder the progress we need to make. This positive force makes us think younger, think differently, about how we will grow people-powered self-driving buildings from the intelligent, self-learning, self-acting edge.

We have much to learn from the evolving self-driving autonomous cars and how can we make our buildings more self-driving and improve our client/customer experience with continuous connection starting at the edge and moving the bits of data intelligently. In a real sense, the new challenge is data strategy; what to collect and how to collect it at the Open Intelligent Edge.

What kind of transformation are we talking about? Ponder this from Tom Goodwin:

  • Uber: The world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles.
  • Facebook: The world’s most popular media owner, creates no content.
  • Alibaba: The most valuable retailer, has no inventory.
  • AirBnB: The world’s largest accommodation provider owns no real estate.

This article from InfoWorld, Data is eating the software that is eating the world, provides further insight:

However, it has become clear to everyone, especially the old-school disruptor's cited by Andreessen, that “software,” as it’s normally understood, is not the secret to future success. Going forward, the agent of disruption will be the data-driven ML (machine learning) algorithms that power AI. In this new era, more of the logic that powers intelligent applications won’t be explicitly programmed. The days of predominantly declarative, deterministic, and rules-based application development are fast drawing to a close. Instead, the probabilistic logic at the heart of chatbots, recommendation engines, self-driving vehicles, and other AI-powered applications is being harvested directly from source data.

This article, How to differentiate your IoT product, has a key insight, that insights, not data are the key:

At the end of the day, an IoT product is no different than any other product in the mind of the customer. It either delivers value or it doesn’t. It either solves the job it was hired to do or it doesn’t

This article, Legacy technology – an enabler to digital transformation, not a barrier has an important message, that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel to move forward with transformation.

There are many organizations that have successfully harnessed the power of legacy systems and delivered the content or processing power of these through fresh, modern interfaces or mobile apps to their customers. Adopting this approach enables organizations to transform their customer experience while using legacy systems to process the inputs. The outcome is a more rapid delivery of improved customer experience with a review of the legacy processes taking place behind the scenes.

By the way, many years ago I never imagined I would become a Computerized Control Consultant on my journey to save energy. I was just the new kid on the block, but there was no one in the industry who had my strange skill set.  I understood conventional controls, computers, micro processors,  DDC, and the evolving thing called the Internet.  A few sophisticated clients literally forced me into forming a company to provide a service — true story! There was no name for what I did and much of what I had to do was training convention consultants of how the future of DDC would play out.

In this thought-provoking podcast with Ken and Eric of Control Trend we start the discussion. Please jump in at the 11.5 to 52-minute mark. You can share your thoughts directly with me, or on social media or come to one of our education sessions in Chicago.

We need to recreate ourselves and do what we never imagined and set a path on how we will get there from here.

About the Author

Ken Sinclair | Editor/Owner/Founder

Ken Sinclair has been called an oracle of the digital age. He sees himself more as a storyteller and hopes the stories he tells will be a catalyst for the IoT future we are all (eventually) going to live. The more than 50 chapters in that ongoing story of digital transformation below are peppered with HTML links to articles containing an amazing and diverse amount of information.

Ken believes that systems will be smarter, self-learning, edgy, innovative, and sophisticated, and to create, manage and re-invent those systems the industry needs to grow our most important resource, our  younger people, by reaching out to them with messages about how vibrant, vital and rewarding working in this industry can be.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Contractor, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations