The cell phone — or really, more accurately, the hand-held computer — has become mostly a gateway to all the mobile services we use on it.

So, are we moving towards a world where vastly more things are like smartphones, and the service an object provides becomes much more important than the object itself?

The focus shifts from assets and products to services and outcomes, because all of a sudden, you're no longer thinking in terms of producing a best-in-class machine and selling it to a customer and then the customer will do whatever they want.

You're focusing on the idea that, thanks to these technologies, what you're really selling to your customers are outcomes, services, solutions.

What does this mean for the businesses making the industrial objects we use every day?

When we build the next generation of machines, we will take into consideration the tasks they are supposed to do today, and also equip them with software that will allow it to do much much more in the future, without necessarily having to update the physical objects.

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