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.