I recently delivered a keynote address called “The Internet of Things: What Does It Take to Make the Internet of Everything Real?” at the IoT Global Innovation Forum in Dallas.
I talked about the important linkage between the Internet of Things (IoT) and the next wave of the Internet — the Internet of Everything (IoE). For the uninitiated, the Internet of Things is the networked connection of physical objects. The Internet of Everything is the networked connection of those physical objects along with people, data, and process.
I see signs daily that IoE is having an impact on businesses and people. And with that impact comes unprecedented opportunity for both the private and public sectors. When people, process, data, and things are connected, there is an incredible opportunity to create new revenue streams, compete with disruptive competitors, deliver better experiences, and use new operating models to drive efficiency and value.
Countries, cities, industries, and businesses around the globe are becoming digital to capitalize on the immense opportunity that IoE brings. But becoming a digital business requires rethinking core business processes and implementing an agile information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) foundation that embraces new security, cloud, mobile, social, and analytics technologies. These underpinnings set the stage for driving business innovation and were the core of my talk.
My presentation resonated with the audience, and I got validation on the following key points:
• There is a lot of interest in fog computing; participants see the limitations of a cloud-only approach and understand the value of our fog approach
• There is deep interest in the skills gap and how to address it (see the education initiative we launched at the IoT World Forum last October)
• There is much interest in how to achieve interoperability, which involves leveraging the stack from things up to applications
• And, no surprise here, there was widespread agreement that IoT security is a big challenge and one that is ripe for innovation (see my April 15 blog on Cisco’s plan to team with Identiv for access control and identity management)
• Cisco’s IoT Product Portfolio provides the right capabilities to support a converged IoT environment.
By now, we know that people, process, data, and things are connecting at a rapid rate. According to Cisco research, there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by the end of this year and 50 billion by 2020 — the equivalent of 3 1/2 devices for every person on the planet.
And what will result? Compelling experiences, new markets, greater efficiency, and more. Behind this great wave are massive shifts in technology and consumption models. Cloud, security, mobility, analytics, and programmable networks are all driving different business models and compelling opportunities. Where information lives and how it’s accessed are changing dramatically.
IT leaders must embrace this new digital model, making themselves more strategic and more nimble — a source of innovation and transformation across their entire organization.
The question is: Are you ready to compete and excel in this next generation of the digital age?