The Danger of Tech Silos in the IoT Age


The thing about specializing, particularly in technology marketing, is that it is so easy to silo yourself. And that represents a big problem in most technology service provider marketing departments.

Silos happen when a company, division or entire industry splits itself up into specialized vertical categories, usually to take advantage of dedicated production chains and focused industry relationships. They establish channels of predictability: you know who your customers are, what they need, what you provide, and who you are working with.

Organizing yourself in this fashion can have a lot of upsides. But it can also blind you to coming convergences that are set to jump easy categories in order to fashion new ones, spanning the silos.

Tech people specialize. That’s how they stay successful in tech – by betting on the winners and staying on topic with them. But from time to time, you have to see a bigger picture to stay in the game.

Convergence 2016: Telecom and the Internet of Things

For example, right now the technology convergence I perhaps have the most interest in is that between telecom services and Internet of Things network technologies. You can read this excellent strategic backgrounder by Deloitte for what you can expect in the next year or two.

The gist of it is this. As the new IPv6 internet address scheme quietly makes its way into large scale deployment, more and more sensor-based electronic devices will essentially become very small Internet servers. Most will never directly interact with a human being. Rather, they will be designed to interact with each other in networks of varying size and complexity.

Industry forecasts anticipate that virtually any device capable of gathering useful data on its environment – on you, what you are doing, what is happening nearby, etc. – will do so. That massive ocean of data will then be collated and analyzed (i.e., “big data”), much of it in cloud-based computing centers. Data structures will be built on data structures built on data structures, endlessly.

These networks and the data they generate will assume roles of greater and greater responsibility in our society, businesses and lives, in a bewildering and massive web of logic and information.

Now just imagine how complicated that is going to get.

So where does telecom come in? Simply put, the current infrastructure isn’t ready for this.

Telecommunications quality standards will need to sharply increase everywhere to support IoT systems, and modern telecom networks will need to become much, much smarter. Those networks will themselves become early adopters of IoT technologies. For companies currently enjoying success in low latency, IP-based telecom services, such as SIP trunking and Unified Communications, there are real opportunities here as the walls between telecom, industrial automation and big data come crashing down.

Jumping The Silos

Grabbing those opportunities, however, will require looking past the silos, because these new markets aren’t going to be easily divided into simple categories. Completely new ones will likely emerge to fill in the gaps, and they will require new perspectives on messaging and strategy.

And in two years we will all hear – once again – about the plight of the “traditional” technology service provider in the face of these new market realities. And about how new, out-of-nowhere technology brands are successfully rushing to fill the voids left between the outdated silos of yesterday.

Are your silos holding you back from taking full marketing advantage of the next revolutionary leap in your field?

If so, we at Load Bearing Creative would love to help. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you to synthesize effective marketing copy that directly addresses the demands of these emerging markets.

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