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The Internet of Things: Hype or Reality?

Having spent several days last week at the Internet of Things World Forum in Dubai, I am more convinced than ever that the Internet of Things (IoT) is not some hyped-up futuristic vision of what could be, but a present-day reality that is transforming businesses and industries here and now.

In this blog series over the past six months, I have touched on many of the technology and business factors to consider while planning an Internet of Things (IoT) deployment—from access technologies to emerging standards and the convergence of IT and organizational technology (OT) . I spent three blogs discussing fog computing, analytics, and applications, and was happy to be part of the announcement of the OpenFog Consortium last month. All of this focus on IoT culminated last week, when the IoT World Forum highlighted both well-established IoT solutions and numerous IoT startups that are gearing up to change the future.

Successful IoT deployments integrate operational control systems with enterprise information systems for greater visibility, efficiency, and security.

Successful IoT deployments integrate operational control systems with enterprise information systems for greater visibility, efficiency, and security.

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A Defining Moment for IoT and Digitization

In the next few years we will reflect on the third annual Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) this week and realize that 2015 was the inflection point for the Internet of Things (IoT) and digitization. Leaders from around the world convened in Dubai this week, all witnessed real solutions that are now fundamentally changing the way we will live and do business. It’s a dramatic change that will touch everyone.

Digital transformation – the connection of cities, companies, and countries to the Internet – has emerged as the most transformative means to ignite sustainable growth and improve society. Those countries and companies that get ahead and embrace the digital transformation will uncover limitless possibilities to drive innovation, growth and jobs of the future.

However, only 1 in 4 leaders* say they are being sufficiently proactive about digitization. And while 75% of businesses will become digital by 2020, only 30% of digitization efforts will be successful. The number one reason companies don’t succeed? They fail to innovate or reinvent. Those that don’t will be left behind.

It is fitting that this defining moment in the future of digitization is taking place here, in the Middle East. My discussions with its leaders on the future of the digital and the global landscape have only strengthened my admiration for their visionary approach but also the speed of change that comes through aligning all government smart initiatives together under one smart-city ambition.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for Dubai to be the ‘Smartest City in the World by 2017’ is well under way. Sensors embedded throughout the city will connect everything from utilities to urban transportation, from entertainment to energy, and from policing to politics. All of it developed to improve the lives of citizens, reduce energy consumption and to capture the potential added value of US$ 4.87 billion (AED 17.9 billion) by 2019.

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IoT World Forum: Translating IoT Innovation into Business Value with Analytics at the Edge

Heading into the holiday season, I can safely predict that my kids’ excitement levels will increase steadily as December 25th draws nearer. They, of course, are anticipating Christmas morning and all that it entails – a break from school, delicious brunch, hot chocolate, family time, and, just maybe, some gift giving. Well, I am pretty excited myself, because along with the holidays, December also ushers in the Internet of Things World Forum 2015 (IoTWF) in Dubai!

Cisco is hosting its third rendition of the IoTWF at the Dubai World Trade Centre from December 6-8, and this event just gets better and better each year. The forum is an opportunity for the companies leading the way toward digital transformation with the Internet of Everything (IoE) to showcase dramatic transformations now gaining momentum across every global sector. It’s a chance to learn, share, and partner – to see tangible examples of digital progress and to collaborate with industry leaders to plot the future of the digital global economy. It’s kind of like a condensed holiday season for the world of digital innovation.

Each year, the forum is a great time and place to measure the progress we are making toward digital transformations of every global industry. When we held the first IoTWF two years ago, digitization and the IoE seemed like distant, albeit imminent, visions. We focused on the big picture, needing to comprehend and contextualize the massive opportunity and far-reaching implications of this fourth industrial revolution. Now, more than two years in, our focus has shifted: It’s no longer about convincing people that digital transformation is real, necessary, and valuable, but about connecting the dots between the vision for where to go and the strategy for how to get there. Read More »

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OpenFog Consortium Gains Momentum as Fog Picks Up Steam

This week, I’m joining leaders from industry, academia, and government at the Internet of Things World Forum (#IoTWF) in Dubai, and fog computing is a hot topic in many of our discussions. As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more pervasive in our homes, cars, city services, and across industries, fog computing will become an essential technology for capturing value in many IoT use cases.

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Anil Menon President, Smart + Connected Communities at Cisco and John Defterios, Emerging Market Editor with CNN talk briefly about the newly formed OpenFog Consortium at the IoTWF.

That is why I am particularly happy to be representing the OpenFog Consortium, as well as Cisco, at this global event. The consortium was formed to accelerate the deployment of fog technologies and to provide industry and academic leadership in developing fog computing frameworks and architectures. Cisco has been working for many months with the other founding members—Intel, Microsoft, Dell, ARM, and Princeton University—to form this new industry body. Since our announcement of the OpenFog Consortium on November 19, interest has gained momentum and there is now a healthy pipeline of new members in the process of joining.

Exciting possibilities of a fog approach are coming to life in Barcelona, Spain. Last week, I participated in a live demo of a proof of concept project that brings together a number of disparate smart city services within a single unified architecture, rather than in disconnected, siloed efforts. Barcelona has been working for several years to develop “smart” urban services, including lighting, traffic management, event-based video, and on-demand connectivity. For the most part, however, these services have been developed and deployed independently by different city departments—resulting in a dazzling array of sensors, gateways, repeaters, and other devices positioned on poles, posts, and walls around the city. The proof of concept project consolidates and integrates these separate systems in secure, strategically placed outdoor cabinets, and provides a single-screen view to monitor and manage data, applications, virtual switches and routers, fog nodes, fog services, and the network. This project represents a paradigm shift for smart city services, leveraging both cloud and fog capabilities to integrate a rich set of use cases on a multi-vendor software platform.

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Experience the Smart City of the Future at the IoTWF Dubai

The 600 largest cities in the world are expected to generate 65 percent of global GDP growth through 2025—the impact of IoT technologies can be substantial states McKinsey Global Institute.

With the Internet of Things World Forum rapidly approaching, I wanted to preview this year’s IoTWF Experience tours – which have been one of the most popular activities at the previous World Forums.

Dubai, already one of the most technologically advanced cities, is transforming into one of the smartest digital cities in the world.  The IoTWF walking tours will illustrate many of the solutions that are going into this digital transformation as Dubai embraces the Internet of Things.

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