CES 2015
Quick Change Artists

John Chambers, Cisco Chairman and CEO, Neil Smit, President and CEO of Comcast Cable and Werner Struth, Member of Board of Management, Bosch discussed the evolving connections among people, data, businesses and innovation that the Internet of Things is making possible.


Flow with the tides: Change is critical for survival. It’s the only thing that will keep today’s companies alive into the future. John Chambers flatly stated that only 40% of companies alive today will exist in a meaningful way in the future. The speed of change is so dramatic, he believes, that you can either disrupt or die.

Jacks of all trades: Companies now need to gear up for competition not just within their industry but from outside as well. If your company doesn’t move into market adjacencies and build additional functions and features into its core products, then it will cease to be profitable. Core products just commoditize too quickly today. Battling against that requires a cross functional, cross divisional and cross industrial business model.

Hit the gas: Brands are realising that they need to be prepared to disrupt their business models from within in step with changes in consumer behavior. Think of how Uber is disrupting the transport industry and Airbnb the hotels industry. Consumer demand for instant gratification is so high, that companies struggle to keep up. Neil Smit of Comcast said, “Most of us think that innovation just has to be in the technology, but what we sometimes forget that changing people and culture is part of that.”

Empowering from within: Bosch is creating smaller agile teams— both in-house and externally— of creative technologists who collaborate through hackathons. This multi-project scrum methodology helps build collaborative communication and develop products faster. Chambers believes giants should start acting like start-ups with leaner, meaner teams.

The Internet of Everything: Internet of everything reaches its potential once the network effect kicks in. One connected device has limited utility, but when many devices connect with each other, huge solutions and innovations emerge. Imagine if you are watching NBA and you can hear the heartbeat of the players, feel the speed of the ball dribbling. That holistic experience is on the horizon, but we need to take steps to make that potential future a reality.

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