Letter from the Editor - Prope est Finis

By: Scott St. John

The end is near, for a great many things. Humans, have proved to be a nuisance. They are too costly, prone to error, unreliable, and most importantly weak. And, if robots can put together your Tesla, they can certainly build your burger.

As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages cities, industries, and entire economies–and it's not done yet–only the digital will survive. And only the digital natives shall thrive. This is the end my friends, of a great many things. And it's also just the beginning.

It's the end of brick and mortar. The end face-to-face. It's also likely to be the end of travel, retail, dining out, office space, professional sports, and public gatherings. At least the end of the way we once we knew them. Nobody wants to buy PPE on the dark web so they can go to Walmart. No one wants to don a hazmat suit to see a doctor, or take a flight.  This is a monumental shift, and the pandemic is not done with us yet.

But there are those that are thriving. Those that foresaw the shift to digital, and have reinvented personal experiences. Those that have transformed, or never needed to in the first place. Those who have virtualized delivery, entertainment, groceries, medical care, meetings, and even the way we consume pizza and burritos. Enterprises that were prepared, by having a virtual infrastructure in place, noticed little difference between the pre-Covid and post-Covid worlds. The digital natives didn't even blink, as the entire world instantly moved into their domain.

So, which are you? A legacy company holding onto hope that things will somehow go back to the way they were?  An innovator that is transforming the way your business operates? Or a digital native, born with the pure intent to reinvent an old, legacy experience with a new, virtual one? There is still time to transform, to reinvent, but time is running out.

If you are still clinging to the idea that people like to deal with people, you would be wrong. Similarly, if you have been under the impression that customers like clunky equipment, you'd be mistaken. If your business is still anchored to the premise that it needs a premise, you're in for a lot of pain as digital natives continue to eat your lunch. It's time to let go. If your content isn't streaming, products aren't seamlessly integrated with a digital storefront and mobile app, or they can't be delivered to your customers door, well, it's been nice knowing you.

The new world is decidedly digital. Customers want to be connected with their own devices, where they can get what they need, when they want, and without interacting with pesky humans. They want automated fulfillment without complexity. They want to be safe. They surely won't risk getting COVID-19 just to ensure that your business survives. And why would they?

The proliferation of connected devices and IoT persists. Things that may have once seemed futuristic–such as artificial intelligence, connected cars, self-driving delivery vehicles, and robotics–have arrived. PCs have been replaced by voice assistants, wearables and smart phones. The current global crisis is only adding fuel to the fire. Humans have become a novelty, a luxury perhaps, as entire ecosystems move toward pure-play AI-driven ecosystems. It's simply better, faster, and much more profitable. But, it's not necessarily more secure, which one of the reasons this issue of Pipeline is so important.

In this issue of Pipeline, we look at IoT and the connected device revolution. Mobileum explores the vulnerabilities and complexities of IoT Device Security. Dr. Mark Cummings and information security expert, Bill Yeack team up for detailed at look at the evolution of Smart Cities to Smart Nations. We hear from the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) on establishing Trust in the IoT Era, and GlobalPlatform explains the necessity for Industry Collaboration as the IoT expands and evolves. Hylan describes how the global pandemic is fueling the Race to 5G and Nokia discusses how 5G helps solve the Connectivity Challenges of Connected Cars. BerhTech shows us four ways that IoT Sparks New Business Value and Speedcast discusses how satellite connectivity is being leveraged to go Beyond the Edge. All this plus a look at the month’s breaking news stories and more.

Stay well,

Scott St. John
Managing Editor
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