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Building the Platform for the Internet of Everything

We are embarking on a new technological journey that will fundamentally change forever the economy, society and the way that we live.  Wired magazine described a new era where “the most mundane items in our lives can talk wirelessly among themselves, performing tasks on command, giving us data we’ve never had before.”  The Internet of Everything (IoE) is a world where up to 50 billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet.

Businesses are beginning to completely re-design their processes, operations and business models to benefit from this new era.  We are already starting to see the emergence of smart cities, connected utilities, connected railways, connected factories, connected cars, and even connected mines, to name but a few.  All industries are looking to IoE as a breakthrough technology to help them optimize their business, enter new markets and enhance their relationship with their customers.  This is why industry analysts, like IDC, estimate that businesses will spend up to $20 trillion over the next three years to realize the promise of the Internet of Everything.

But, The Internet of Things is More Than Just “Things”.  As I described in this recent article, the Internet of Things is really a short-hand for the four technology pillars (mobility, cloud, big data and things), wrapped in security, that are forging a revolutionary new, and revolutionary, connected world.  Successful IoE implementations don’t happen in isolation or independently.  Cisco is discovering that successful implementations require a technical and business platform into which different solutions can be easily plugged to efficiently and effectively achieve the promised business benefits.  The cornerstones of this IoE platform include a robust connectivity and technology infrastructure, operational and management services and a range of vertical and horizontal solutions.

IoE Impressions 11.6

In Cisco’s experience, all IoE implementations require all of these technical and business elements to be successful.  Our vision is that effective IoE deployments will build an IoE platform that can be extended across the business, or even entire industries, to deliver a range of unique, value-added IoE solutions.

Starting from the bottom, the layers comprise:

  1. Network Connection – connecting all of the solutions, data and applications through fiber backhaul or licensed cellular.
  2. Network Access – a managed Wi-Fi, or other unlicensed wireless network, to connect all of the sensors and applications.
  3. Technology Platform – a platform to allow new devices and solutions to readily and securely “plug and play” into the overall architecture, and to connect to cloud storage and compute services.
  4. Vertical and Horizontal Solutions – the combination of devices and applications that deliver the unique solutions for different vertical and horizontal industry segments.
  5. Platform Monetization – in some verticals, like smart cities and B2C, opportunities exist to leverage the platform and network to create new sources of revenue.
  6. Shared Operating Platform – a shared platform to consolidate the management, customer care and service issues across all of the solutions.
  7. Professional Services – services to support areas such as systems integration, planning and design.
  8. Program Leadership – services to program manage the entire implementation, operations and partner ecosystem.

Successfully deploying and capturing the tremendous potential benefits of IoE is not just about cool things and applications.  A comprehensive technical, operations and management IoE platform is required to turn vision and promise into reality.

Want to learn more and chat with our Cisco subject matter experts? Tweet us @CiscoSPMobility.

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“The Internet of Things is More Than Just “Things” – Five Technology Pillars to Pay Attention To

It has been 15 years since Kevin Ashton popularized the term the Internet of Things. How could we have known then what that would come to mean and the huge impact that it would have on our lives? Cisco projects that 50 Billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet. This exponential growth of connected devices is fundamentally impacting both society and the economy—changing our lives forever.

IoT 10.15

However, with all of our focus and media attention on the Internet of Things, we are really missing the fundamental technology revolutions that are reshaping our world. Radical advances in processing, storage, wireless technologies and new ways of delivering technology are reshaping our world -- all at a much faster speed and drastically reduced price.

In my view, the Internet of Things is really a short-hand for the five technology pillars that are shaping a revolutionary new, connected world. Read More »

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IoE is the Path to Gartner’s ‘All Things Digital’

This week, I had the opportunity to focus on digital business as an attendee and presenter at Gartner’s ITxpo in Orlando, Fla. It was a sold out crowd with 8,500 attendees and approximately 2,700 CIOs. And one insight that seemed to resonate with the audience was Gartner’s belief that by 2018, digital business will require 50 percent fewer business process workers and 500 percent more key digital business jobs.

At the ITxpo discussing how the Internet of Everything helps enable all things digital

At the ITxpo discussing how the Internet of Everything enables the transition to Gartner’s  All Things Digital

We already live in a world that is rapidly connecting people, process, data, and things in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. I believe that IoE is a key driver of this transition and a fundamental stepping stone to making “All Things Digital.”

Gartner defines All Things Digital as “blurring the physical and digital worlds to create new business designs.” Interestingly, Gartner focuses on people, business, and things, but omits process. Gartner’s view is that process will happen dynamically and be measured in not months or weeks, but nanoseconds. While this is a true statement, it reflects the end goal. The key question is, how does an enterprise become digitally enabled?

A first step in transitioning to All Things Digital, is embracing IoE by lighting up “dark assets.” A dark asset is something that is currently not connected to the Internet. A dark asset in itself however, does not create value.  ln All Things Digital, connected devices begin to talk with other connected devices. These devices interact with one another dynamically, which in turn creates processes in just nanoseconds. In this environment, IoE allows you to understand what process to focus on and which assets to connect. In other words, IoE is the pathway to Gartner’s All Things Digital.  The overarching goal is business outcomes. One retail example is connecting a parking lot to a retail store. In a recent trial, we found that data from parking lot sensors, when analyzed correctly, can predict when checkouts will get busy, so that more cashiers can be deployed. There are many other dark assets in a retail environment that have the potential to increase revenue, lower costs, and grow margins once they are lit up.

Gartner Blog Image

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A Few of my Favorite Things: Video and the Internet of Everything

Once again, the holiday season is upon us. It’s a time to reconnect with friends and family, share memories and relax.

Unfortunately, today’s busy world prevents many of us from physically being together during this special time of year. But these days, the Internet of Everything is starting to be able to bring more people, things and traditions together through immersive mobile video and telepresence experiences.

Video Drives Experiences

Gone are the days of trying to capture memories with old-school video cameras. New waves of cloud-based, mobile, and video applications and machine-to-machine connections are documenting our lives in cool new ways. These are much more useable and sharable, and fun. These applications and connections are also contributing to the explosion of mobile data traffic. In fact, because mobile video content has much higher bit rates than other mobile content types, mobile video will generate much of the mobile traffic growth through 2017, according to Cisco VNI.

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Weird? Or Previously Unexplored?

A connected toothbrush that gives you a virtual checkup every time you brush – is that weird, or near-term reality?

I recently came across the article “25 Weirdest Things in the ‘Internet of Things’” in InfoWorld, which focuses on the different – and what many might consider unorthodox – ways in which the Internet is now playing a part in our everyday lives. The article outlines the many things that could someday be connected to the Internet, and the chain reaction that these connections(and their insights) will have.

Cisco_2-kids

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