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Euro 2016 — It’s not everyone’s cup of tea
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Euro 2016 — It’s not everyone’s cup of tea

Posted by Zenobia HegdeJune 13, 2016

Euro 2016 will examine which standard can create the most harmonised team, where telepathic understanding is created between dumb units backed by obscene amounts of money. But what does this Internet of Bling tell us about the IoT industry? A lot…

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m really looking forward to the big European conference in France this summer. It will have kicked off by the time you read but there’s still time to get involved as the finale doesn’t come until July 10th.

By that time many dramatic conflicts will have been resolved, often being decided by dubious decisions and questionable penalties. Each of these competitive proposals seems like a world beater at the opening ceremony, when 24 different standard bearers parade round the arena, says freelance IT and communications writer, Nick Booth.

Each squad will be backed by serious money from some of the world’s most iconic companies. Some of the men involved are practically brands themselves – in the past one of the players was even dubbed Brand Beckham – and none of them needs to work anymore. As with the IoT, it’s practically impossible to reach this level and not be a multi-millionaire. As a result, the network of players and their wives and girlfriends (WAGs) is often described by gossips as The Internet of Bling.

Nick Booth, freelance IT and communications writer

Nick Booth, freelance IT and communications writer

The conference in question isn’t being run by IoT Now because Euro 2016 is a governed by UEFA, the Union of European football Associations. But there are many similarities between the respective Internets of Bling and Things.

Both are about getting the best out of a collective. The net effect of their team effort must always be far higher than the sum of their parts. Each unit in the team has a brain (AKA a processing unit) and various capacities for output, such as speed and strength. Though players (like IoT Devices) are conditioned from an early age to work together, the design for a team ethos has to be a constant work in progress. Each player’s ‘processes’ need care and configuration.

Superstition abounds in football and all sort of rituals and events are given enormous meaning. In Britain, people whose intelligence you wouldn’t normally question suddenly believe that animals have paranormal powers and can see into the future. Stakes on the outcomes of games are often based on whether a Goldfish swims clockwise or anti clockwise in a punter’s house.

By extension, the outcome of the Euro 2016 tournament may foretell many of the events that will unfold in the Internet of Things where agility are important, but strong management even more vital as each player is highly insecure and can’t be trusted not to get wasted.

Beware, also, proprietary players and excessive hype.

While confidence is useful, in excess it’s fatal. As soon as Britain’s tabloid newspapers start to herald the England football team as potential world beaters, they are effectively doomed. It’s only a matter of time before they will be blaming bad refereeing decisions and packing their bags for an early return to Heathrow. Naturally, the very same sports writers who were leading the cheers will be jeering from the sidelines. (As with IT analysts, nobody ever seems to remember these astonishing U-turns).

Drew Johnson, VP of engineering, Aeris

Drew Johnson, VP of engineering, Aeris

The chief reason for England’s constant under performance is another salutary lesson for The IoT industry. Despite their ethnic diversity, England players can only speak in one language and refuse to even try other dialects. This arrogant, proprietary comms strategy is a disaster on multiple fronts, not least because stifles the players’ ability to effectively lobby the referee.

You can have 11 of the greatest footballing products, in each position, and still have a hopeless team if you can’t create the right spirit and impenetrable bonding. This is a point that IoT industry veteran Drew Johnson, Aeris’s VP of engineering, makes rather forcefully elsewhere. It’s great to be the best in your position, but it’s far more important to be the best at teamwork, said Johnson, who has a lifetime’s experience of integrating players into a team. Mind you, when all else is even, a flash of genius can still turn a game. That’s where player’s like Johnson, Gilli Coston of Logica and Tre Zimmerman of Ubicquia, may come into their own.

Still, as we used to say on Purley Way on Sunday mornings, we can’t have a game until we’ve put the nets up!

The author of this blog is freelance IT and communications writer, Nick Booth.

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Zenobia Hegde

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