1 minute pitch for what you do?
I’m John Savage CTO of ActionPoint and a 20 year veteran of the software industry. I founded ActionPoint with David Jeffreys back in 2005, and we have grown the company to almost 100 people since then. I’m a pragmatic techy at heart. I love new technology but only when it has a real purpose – Alexa was just a toy until I got it hooked up to Spotify and my home heating and lighting!
What did you learn about the state of Industry 4.0 from this event?
Our first IoT projects predated the term. I’ve seen many software fads come and go over the years and have attempted to steer ActionPoint on the path just behind the hype. We try and live on the cutting edge rather than the bleeding edge and only adopt technology when there’s clear business value in it.
A number of years ago when we started on the IoT conference circuit, I was always surprised at how blue-sky the thinking was with few pragmatic, real projects. It’s great to see this thinking move on to a more mature “what’s the problem we’re solving and where’s the revenue?” mindset. It’s only the latter part that actually allows an industry to be sustainable and it’s great to see this crystalise with numerous real life and successful IoT projects being showcased.
Why speak at the IEEE event, what sparked your interest?
ActionPoint’s Global HQ is in Limerick and I graduated from UL myself. When we heard that the IEEE World Forum of IoT was going to be hosted on campus, we realised it was a unique opportunity to showcase the fantastic tech and IoT community within Limerick. To have the world’s top experts in a given field land on your doorstep for a week of exciting knowledge exchange is a rarity, so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to be a part of it and share our own thinking.
What was your presentation about?
I presented on the strategies and mindsets required to deliver successful IoT implementations. We highlighted the fact that IoT has so many technical complexities (firmware, communications, business processes, big data, enterprise applications) that you need to engage a wide team across multiple organisations. The key tension at the heart of such an approach is between the techies and business folk. The techies want to build really great tech (I know, I’m one of them!) and without a clear goal they can end up in a place that is of no use to the business. Meanwhile, the business folk might have unrealistic expectations on how “easy” it is and push in an unachievable direction.
Essentially, the key message is that the tech teams and business folk need to strike a balancing act between them to ensure that the “Why” at the heart of their IoT endeavours is clear. Only then will the magic happen, with the right technology supporting that goal.
What excites you about the future of Industry 4.0?
I think Industry 4.0 and IoT is only just getting into its stride. We’re now seeing real solutions delivering true value and an RoI. These solutions are going to generate a vast quantity of data in a short period of time, so the question will then move to solving the problem of consuming that data. This is where ActionPoint sees the likes of AR coming to bear. AR will allow us to leverage the untapped ability of the human mind to understand incredible quanitites of spatial information. If we can combine IoT data with a person’s location, where they are looking and who they are, then we can avoid a world of impenetrable dashboards and analytics. Instead, giving them all the relevant information they need at any physical location within the factory floor… and beyond.
Where can we learn more about ActionPoint’s IoT offering?
For everything IoT at ActionPoint, check out https://action-point.com/
Or for all the news and happenings, check us out on Twitter: @actionpointtech or on Linkedin search ActionPoint Technology Group