We’ve been sounding the alarm on The TopCoder Blog for about a half a year now with regards to the emerging 3.0. The warning sounds a little something like this. If you’re finding it difficult to scale and source the proper talent to develop software and valuable digital assets in Web2.0 – driven by astounding technology fragmentation in the mobile & tablet space – then the emerging 3.0 will be your worst nightmare.
This isn’t a “sky is falling” warning because for many, the Internet of Things (the 3.0) will represent a Cambrian-like era of technological evolution and revolution. In other words, there will be more opportunity than ever before to create and bring to market a disruptive innovation. Why? Because innovations that leverage 3.0, device to device hyperconnectivity, will alter how human beings interact with the software and all the devices helping to create this new experience. You can call it the user experience (UX) or consumer experience (CX), or more flatly the re-envisioned human experience (HX), semantically it matters not. What matters is the fact that although the 3.0 is all about one device sharing data with another device, we have to remember, this device-to-device or perhaps more accurately chip-to-chip sharing of information is happening to improve or make easier a human being’s life in some very specific way. When you change the very way a human interacts with technology, not just improve but re-invent the experience, you increase the chances of that innovation becoming disruptive. Look no further than the iPad to prove that last point.
On Point Read: 3 Dirsuptive Innovation Lessons to Learn Today
What the Early 3.0 Looks Like
Perhaps you’ve recently read about the Tampa Bay Lightning’s innovative chip-embedded jerseys. Blending physical gamification techniques such as a special badge to denote a certain level of status – in this case a season ticket holder – and embedded chip technology in the patch that issues those donning the jersey automatic discounts on concessions and merchandise while at the arena, the Lightning have a bona fide innovation hit on their hands. As a marketing ploy, you can not argue with the success of this experiment. As a technological innovation it should crank up that aforementioned alarm to an even more audible volume than before. What you see here – a piece of connected clothing – is just a rudimentary beginning of the 3.0.
If you are in IT, whether a developer, director or C-Level member the question that must be answered is:
If we are having a hard time delivering on all demands from both the business and IT side in the current Web2.0, mobile/tablet driven environment, how are we possibly going to deliver on all needs in the emerging 3.0 when millions of “things” suddenly become data-enabled?
The Open Innovation & Crowdsourcing Road Ahead
Companies and internal cultures that are already embracing external global communities and Crowdsourcing platforms to ramp up production and innovation attempts will be uniquely positioned to outperform competitors within the emerging 3.0 who are developing digital assets through traditional means. Open Innovation on the right platform is a force-multiplier. It garners you access to an incredible breadth of talent who collectively bring an unmatched hyperspecialized skill-set and allows you to experiment in innovation like never before.
If you’re seeking to bring Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing to your company, we suggest you start by doing your research. Communities that leverage Crowdsourcing, competition and co-creation offer sincerely different approaches to how they accomplish work and bring innovative assets to life. Regardless of your path to open innovation, the road ahead will demand you get on it. As many will struggle to innovate and lose opportunity to gain or create market share in the emerging 3.0, you can position your company to capitalize on all the opportunity the Internet of Things embodies. This chip-embedded NHL jersey – and all it represents going forward – is going to cause many in IT nightmares. But the truth is, it will also shepherd the most opportunity to bring to market a disruptive innovation. Will the 3.0 be your nightmare, or will you be prepared to innovate and lead?
Image Credit: lightning.nhl.com