ifridays Innovation



Alberto Rodríguez de Lama, entrepreneur and cofounder of Unlimiteck, introduces us to the world of the Internet of Things and innovation applied to business management.


Although the media abounds in companies that go from zero to one hundred in a flash, not all cases of entrepreneurship become successful nor is their success usually achieved overnight. Alberto Rodríguez explained the following during iFriday, Sacyr’s innovation talks. “In 2014, 3,000 technology companies around the world began selling themselves. However, since 2000, more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have disappeared off the list. At the current time, the average life of a company is 15 years”, stated Rodríguez, to demonstrate the rapidly changing business and entrepreneurial environment.

“It is estimated that more than 75% of the companies that will be part of the S&P500 in 2020 are unknown to us today. Currently, speed is an increasingly decisive aspect. Now the paradigm is the following: the fast fish eats the slow fish”, commented Rodríguez during iFriday.

Evolution of business models and the role to be played by the Internet of Things

The cofounder of Unlimiteck, a firm which generates new technological business undertakings, explained that large and small firms have to work together on many projects. The importance of partners and alliances between companies, as we mentioned in the previous iFriday on Digital Transformation, will increase even more in connection with the success of the business model. There are fewer and fewer companies with a complete value chain so business development is moving from competition towards collaboration and mutual benefit.

According to Rodríguez, we are in an age of “talentism”, a concept which unlocks the value of what a person, team or society knows, wants and can do. In this respect, if companies want to be at the cutting edge of innovation, they will have to learn to change their incentive system. That is to say, innovating and being enterprising entails a risk (potential failure) and companies must foster this commitment to innovation even though it is not always a guarantee of success.

For this entrepreneur, the progress of the Internet of Things (IoT) will be exponential in the next few years and by 2020, 75% of the network-connected devices will be linked to a machine or an infrastructure. This is what is known as the trillion sensor economy. Firms such as Cisco and McKinsey calculate the economic impact of the IoT over the next decade as being between 10 and 20 billion euros. This will have an impact on the creation of new business models.

Business management, highlighted Alberto Rodríguez, has evolved in parallel with the way technology has over the past few decades. In the first ten years of this century, management was based on reacting, that is, companies were acting once an event had occurred. However, in the following years the centre of gravity shifted to real time and to minimising any delay in operations. Finally, since 2016 management has been based on a predictive model: in other words, it is not enough to make decisions in real time, rather data analysis is used to anticipate the course the various elements will take. Will we come to predict, with a high degree of reliability, the success of different projects? This, according to Alberto Rodríguez, is the current trend in managing innovative projects.

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