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Internet of Things: The Bigger Picture

It’s clear that the number of connected devices is growing exponentially.  We’ve already passed the 10 billion mark earlier this year and will most likely reach 50 billion by 2020. The opportunities and challenges of all these devices coming online have tremendous implications for how we live and work.

As devices are proliferating in the Internet of Things (IoT), complexity is growing. IoT-based connections tend to be in silos, independent systems with analytics that are focused on a single purpose.  So it’s important to look at the landscape holistically, to apply a systems approach and address the challenges of building an infrastructure that can meet and interact with an IoT world. That means integrating intelligence, convergence, visibility, and security into the infrastructure.

I’m always interested in hearing or reading points of view on the evolving Internet of Things. Case in point, “A Blueprint to the Internet of Things,” which was a great discussion between ReadWrite’s Taylor Hatmaker and Bump’s David Lieb about how devices need to talk to each other better to make the user experience simple and seamless.  Device interface is an important part of the Internet of Things (IoT), but it’s just the starting point.

The word “blueprint” implies a plan on how things, people, and process will connect and coexist in this hyper-connected world.  There are numerous issues and barriers that need to be overcome in order to accelerate the IoT market.  For example:

  • Addressing social, policy, technological and environmental issues pertinent to IoT
  • Fostering cross-industry, cross-discipline innovation and best practices
  • Defining relevant standards and solutions in areas such as security, policy, compliance, and interoperability
  • Addressing common issues and requirements across industries to create a technology platform for IoT

To tackle these challenges, Cisco is helping convene thought leaders, innovators, business leaders, and practitioners in business, industry, government, and academia to discuss the issues and opportunities of IoT at the Internet of Things World Forum, taking place this October in Barcelona, Spain.

Ultimately, the future of connectivity is much broader than the Internet of Things. Besides machine-to-machine connections, there are people-to-people and people-to-machine interactions to consider, each of which connects and communicates very differently. The end game is about anything being able to talk to everything – or, as we call it, the Internet of Everything. That’s the blueprint we want to create.

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4 Comments.


  1. carlos, as i’ve heard you say in the past, the wave we are currently in — turbulence — may, like an actual wave collapse on itself and create billions of new smaller and larger waves. so the turbulence we are now experiencing during the creation of IoT may likely produce more turbulence. as the barriers you cite above — infrastructure, architecture, blueprints, etc. — emerge or fall, as governments, academia, science, and (especially) entrepreneurialism become lead by digital natives who demand connectivity and “alive” things, i suspect that turbulence will be less negatively disruptive and more proactively value-driven. a lot of hot air here, just trying to articulate that the massive sea-change may be just over the next wave crest as the digitally savvy increasingly lead us.

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  2. September 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I’m branding this now calling it ” The D Generation or Device Generation ” Cheray @cheray

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  3. The main focal point should be based on security of the entire infrastructure.

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    • We can’t focus on the security of a system that doesn’t exist. As the IoT is designed and developed, security needs to be a consideration, but there’s a bunch of other areas that need a lot of work too. If we don’t focus on those as well, we’re going to end up with a highly-secure, but mostly non-functional and unused, system.

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