Tossing Transformation Torches

Sept. 24, 2020
No one can ignore that transformation's fire is in the air.

Covid-19 has forced some amazing, never-before-had conversations; has lit some blazing Transformation Torches that are igniting the sky far beyond our industry.

It is not clear yet who will catch and hold these torches to lead our future crusades, but no one can ignore that transformation's fire is in the air. Conversations on working remote evolved very quickly with our younger, born connected mentors when we were all sent home for our safety. Some key questions:

How do you manage everything remotely?

Effectively use social media? 

Be part of a remote community?

How do you learn? (Via  YouTube, Blogs, video?) 

How do you gather and share information?

How do you document and share your connections?

How do you socialize? How do you live virtually, connected, anywhere you are, with only a phone?

What is it like to be Born Again Connected? Perception of our reality is everything. We need a method to disconnect from our perceptions and imagine ourselves "Born Again Connected.”

Once you start this type of conversation everything gets questioned. Here are just a few of the questions I’ve had to field from some of our youngish mentors:

What is it that you older folks do in these centralized locations? (Older, by the way, means anyone over 30 with a job.)

Why do you do that?

How does that even work?

Why do people go to centralized buildings to do this?

Why is it so complicated?

Why do you not share your work? 

Why does everyone have their own ball?

What game are you playing?

Good questions. Transformation bares our souls.

The flaming transformation torches of radical change will light up the new remote controlled sky. Concepts that were once so new are now changing everything. Past constants have become new variables. The players shifted position on the field with some moving to a whole new game. Some examples are here in our last chapter, Transformation.  We need to stop focusing on the digital part and refocus on the complete Transformation that is now occurring everywhere.

The Torch is of course tradition, wisdom, or knowledge, the light that give guidance, and that (with any hope) will be passed on to a new generation

The September 14 Zoom of had Peter Kelly-Detwiler providing sparks, fire and flaming torches as a great example of how fast the electrical grid may transform.

Peter is the Co-Founder of NorthBridge Energy Partners LLC, an independent consulting organization with expertise and perspective on US energy markets. NorthBridge works with retail energy companies, institutional energy consumers, technologists and investors providing strategic business development, market research, and technology development service. Key passage:

The other thing that COVID did there was fascinating from a system planning perspective, was it fast forwarded us as grid planners and observers about five years into the future? And by that, I mean, there were a lot of questions about integration of renewables into the grid. Five years from now, when wind and solar are the cheapest resources in the world by far, even when you strip away the subsidies, when you integrate, you know, 20 or 30% of those, which we didn't expect we would get to for another five or more years. But when you reduce demand, and the renewables stay the same, and you back off the coal, suddenly the renewables are that percentage because you've changed the relationship of the numerator and the denominator.

Well worth listening to for his thoughts on the evolving electrical grid.

We need to be able to distinguish tossed torches of transformation and burning trees. For one example, look to the real estate industry which has been built on location, location, location. In our new, transformed world, location may no longer be the advantage it once was.

When transformation torches fall on companies unable to achieve successful transformation they simply turn into burning trees. We need to explore how to quickly re-purpose those assets with deep roots into more flexible assets that are remote and agile.

A while back we suggested to everyone, Open Your Mind, Get Out of Your Head. Step away from your hectic life. We need the clarity that comes from quietude to assess the impact of tossed transformation torches.

The power and the importance of the major software companies has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 crisis to scary levels. Their roots are remote. They are torches, not trees. We need to explore how to best work with, without and around their large transforming identities. In this episode of Controltalk, Brian Turner and I chat about Google and our industries collaborations.

From the intro:

Great Discussion on Defining Google’s Digital Buildings Project Digital Buildings' Mission… Support Google's urgent need to operate its very large, very heterogeneous portfolio in a scalable way. Brian Turner, CEO, Buildings IOT, and Ken Sinclair, Editor, Automated Buildings lead a brilliant discussion on what's next in the world of ontology, and the pressing need for a "semantically-expressive, easy-to-use configuration language -- complete with validation tools."

This article from the SmartCitiesWorld website explains some of Amazon’s initiatives:

Semtech, Amazon Web Services and TensorIoTare joining forces on the kits which integrate Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol to simplify IoT solutions development. 

Systems Integrators and Enterprises are now able to use AWS IoT services to accelerate the pilot-to-production lifecycle for their digital transformation applications, while making use of key AWS native services, such as AWS IoT Core, Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon DynamoDB.

Here are a few articles from the most recent that toss more torches.

First, The Smart Building Effect by Nicholas “The Building Whisperer” Waern suggests we forget about Smart from Start, antifragility, and classic business models that don't offer anything new. Instead, the future will be about buildings that stay relevant and grow exponentially smarter over time:

This article from Marc Petock, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Lynxspring, Inc., discusses how COVID-19 is Accelerating Digital Transformation within the Built Environment:

Like every industry and business, the built environment has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is the largest change agent to hit the built environment in the last 25 years. Decisions made now will have a huge impact on how we manage and operate buildings, the health and safety of occupants and even how well our businesses do.

COVID-19 has changed the way we think about buildings. It has brought into sharp focus the need to harness and leverage our buildings digital infrastructure, optimize data and real-time information—key building blocks of digital transformation. In addition, it has driven the increased control and visibility to make buildings safer, reduce risk, infection protection and create trust. Building owners and operators have understood the need for smarter operations, and in recent years have begun to take steps towards the digital transformation of their buildings. The pandemic hit—and with it, a newfound urgency or shall we say a “forced to adapt and to do so fast”. The results are having a significant impact on how facilities need to be managed and operated.

From Brian Solis, writing on the Fast Company website, How COVID-19 created a new kind of consumer:

After two decades of steady growth, the trajectory of digital consumerism went into hyperdrive when the pandemic changed everything—giving us ‘Generation N.’ Meet Generation Novel, a growing cross-generational psychographic of digital-first consumers galvanized by the disruptive effects of COVID-19.

This emergent and significant customer segment isn’t just digital-centric. It’s also emotionally charged, as pandemic-fueled fear, anxiety, and worry take their toll. With the impact of the novel coronavirus likely to endure, companies must prioritize the study of Gen N. Doing so will help executives understand how consumers’ increased and accelerated use of technology affects their preferences, behaviors, and routines.

Seek out Tossed Transformation Torches and beware of burning trees—and be careful not to get burned in the transformation fire! We cannot avoid the complete transformation of life as we know it. 

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.

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