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Seeing Things Differently...


Joe Harris

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Innovation

It is easy with hindsight to look at some developments and think 'why didn't I come up with that?'

We are currently living at point in time where technology is developing rapidly across a wide spectrum of disciplines, this is at the same time as we are bringing billions more people online to join the global discussion. Will this inevitably lead to progression or will these new minds need first to assimilate all of the current and existing ideas in order to further innovate?

I beleive that there is immense value in being able to look at your existing problems from an outside perspective. It is all too easy today to say that something is "impossible" if you have only one or a few fixed ideas about how something can be acheived. We can focus too often on fixing the symptom of an issue rather than looking to the root cause.

In addition, some of the barriers that led to dead ends when perhaps we first investigated an issue have perhaps been removed since or will be over the next few years.

There is a risk that a viable solution could be missed as you may automatically write off what is a valid answer based on your past experiences, without looking objectively at the issue as it presents itself here and now (and in the future).

Progress

The British government has indicated in the past that it sees innovation as a key 'currency' in the future as more mundane or manual tasks become automated:

"We want to make sure that Britain is the best place in the world to run an innovative business or service - this is critical to the UK's future prosperity, our quality of life and future job prospects" (Department BIS - Policy statement)

Innovation is celebrated in our sector with annual award schemes and peer review.

There have been attempts within the industry to push the benefits of apprentiships with programmes such as the "Engineers of tommorow - 100 in 100" (pdf) which has been vocally led by Simon Banks

We have a history within our industry of being at the cutting edge of technology in order to stay one step ahead of the more manevolent members of society and this continues to be the case.

There is no doubt that many of the people working within the industry already have an idea of the capabilities they want to see from equipment within 5 - 10 years and currently the technology is lagging behind the ideas being generated, how long will this last for though?

Electronic Security

This perhaps leads to some questions that the Electronic Security industry can ask of itself regarding innovation:

  • What steps can we take to avoid blind spots and recognise all possibilities?
  • How do we as an industry ensure that such opportunities are not missed?
  • Are we introducing enough new thinkers to our industry through measures such as apprentiships?
  • Should we do more to encourage transparency from manufacturers about their roadmaps?
  • Is some innovation only possible through collaboration?
  • Not all change is good, how do we differentiate the good from the bad?
  • Do we consider other points of view enough?
  • Does your business carry out enough research and development?

These questions are worth considering regardless of the sector of the industry to which you belong as they may have a impact upon you at some point.

As always please share your thoughts and views on the subject.

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Made me think of my very early PIR for external lighting. A very old man being inquisitive asked what i was doing. I exsplained the PIR would see him and turn his light on. He replied that he had heard some tall storys in his life.

Another occassion was my first fax machine which i clearly didnt think through. i payed a fortune before i realised i dint know anyone else with a fax. Most of that machines early life was used sending and receiving for others. We have lived in a marvelous age

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