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. The biggest need right now is for industry-specific roadmaps detailing key steps for implementing IoT technologies, accelerating digital transformation, and harnessing the benefits of a digital business.

There is, however, a common theme tying together the “how” of digital transformation for organizations in every industry: analytics at the edge. Connected devices and processes are not independently and automatically valuable; they create value by enabling new and better ways of capturing, integrating, processing, and analyzing data. Better analytics fuels business insights for automating operations, optimizing processes, increasing efficiency, and delivering better employee and customer experiences.

The IoT gives us an unprecedented ability to collect data from a nearly unlimited quantity and variety of sources, from drill bits to lightbulbs. But it is incredibly difficult to automate this data collection, to integrate data from such a wide range of sources, and to analyze such vast quantities of raw information. To pull together all of this data into a centralized location – a cloud or data center – for processing (as has been the standard practice) requires lots of infrastructure, lots of time, and lots of money. The key is to move the analytics to the data – to process and analyze data where it is generated at the “edge” of the network. Performing analytics at the edge of a connected ecosystem empowers real-time optimization and process improvement, increasing efficiency and delivering value to those organizations that transform digitally.

What does it look like to put all of this into practice in the context of each specific industry? Come to the forum to find out! Or, alternatively, take a look at our collection of 100 customer stories of digital transformation in action (mobile users click here).

To learn more about the Internet of Things World Forum 2015, click here. To learn more about analytics at the edge, read our IoE analytics whitepaper. To learn about Cisco’s analytics solutions, click here.



Michael Riegel

Vice President

Industries, Platforms, and Services Marketing