We are constantly reminded that we live in an increasingly connected world. If you believe the projections with regards to the number of devices connected to the internet then it will increase from just under 2bn today to over 5bn by 2014. A more than doubling in two years.
In terms of business models, the connecting of the devices will undoubtedly create opportunities, however, the real opportunity comes from what do with all these connected devices and the data that they will produce.
To unlock value from the mass of data that the connected world will generate we will need to create architected solutions. Only with architecting will we be able to bring together data and allow it to be interpreted to create information. If we then take it a step further and overlay the information with context we will create knowledge, the holy grail.
We are used to the concept of architecting in relation to buildings and also in terms of most technical solutions, however, rarely do organisations think about the need or value that can be created by architecting the business solution.
From a business model perspective, this is relevant because we will have to create, build and manage new kinds of relationships between, and often within, organisations. We will also need to ensure that the technical/delivery solutions are aligned, synchronised and interlinked with the business solution. Without this we will allow the majority of value from the new interconnectedness to dissipate to our competitors.
This systems based approach requires different mindsets, skillets, and toolsets from traditional procurement. We will need people who can not only build models at the bilateral relationship level but who are also able to rise up to the systems level. At this level we will need to understand the interplays and make trade offs between competing resources, demands and requirements in order to create dynamic ecosystems where to create competitive advantage linkage and interplay becomes critical.
Yet today, so few organisations recruit, develop, and retain people with these skills in mind it is likely that they are sleepwalking into a skills gap in this area.
The solution? Organisations need to consider the skills requirements of this new world and more actively ensure that they are recruiting and developing for the future. After all if you want to hit a moving target then you don’t aim at where it is now.