We’re generating digital information at an exponential rate. It’s coming from more devices that are more connected than ever and getting smarter all the time.

  • In 2013, global mobile data traffic stood at 1.5 exabytes per month – the equivalent of 4,100 text messages each second.
  • By 2018, that will reach 15.9 exabytes per month – or 43,709 text messages each second! And 96% of that mobile data traffic will be “smart” traffic!

Welcome to the next wave of the Internet – the Internet of Everything. Imagine the amount of data we’re creating in this evolving digital world as more and more people and things connect. Technologies like cloud and mobility are fueling this growth – with the cloud as key enabler in helping us make sense of this data deluge. Global data center traffic is expected to triple by 2017, and cloud services and applications will make up 69% of that traffic.

Data itself (or simply storing it in the cloud) only gets you so far, however. The value lies in what you do with it, gaining insight and knowledge derived from data to empower your life and lead you to greater wisdom. That’s the real power behind connectivity. On a personal level, it calls for taking ownership of your “digital self,” leveraging cloud-enabled services not just for storage but to “talk” and interact with the digital world in a dynamic way and in real time. This can lead us to understand aspects of ourselves in ways never before possible – and harness actionable data to make better decisions that improve our lives.

Take wearable technologies, for example, a trend getting ready to explode – with 90 million wearable devices expected to ship in 2014, mainly for health and fitness. (I use a number of these devices myself and know first-hand the value of the data they collect and how that information influences my behavior.) An array of independent devices, like FitBit, Jawbone, and Google Glass, quantify our activities and connections. But these early-generation wearables are just the beginning. Currently, many devices require you to connect and upload to online services manually. In the future, real-time connection through purpose-built clouds and cloud-based services will allow you to dynamically interact with the data and connect to the appropriate people and things to help you gain insight and take appropriate action.

Cisco Powered Reaches New Heights

What if you could take your health monitoring to an even more sophisticated level? Today, you can measure and monitor movements and even record basic vital signs through rudimentary wearable technologies. But soon, self-diagnostic technology like Scanadu (a hand-held device that measures, analyzes, tracks, and trends a much broader range of body functions) will enable a deeper level of diagnosis and help you catch potential problems early. And when this capability gets embedded and integrated into wearables, checking your health will become as easy as checking your messages. You’ll even be able to connect to your healthcare provider for customized feedback and counsel from anywhere in the world. This real-time data flow and new workloads will touch the cloud as either an application, a service powered by cloud-based infrastructure, or stored in the cloud.

As technologies evolve and converge, the cloud will be the bridge and integrator of intelligent dynamic connections, driving greater predictive analytics and simplicity to the point where we’ll only need one device (with embedded sensors for all potential uses) that will enable us to create completely customized and individualized applications for a market share of one…..you!

The ultimate goal of data is to turn it into wisdom, so it can empower our lives through better decisions that lead to better outcomes. With IP traffic expected to cross the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2015, we’ll have tremendous volumes of data coming our way. How will you use it to create your desired outcomes?

Get more insights on the cloud by visiting our Cloud Perspectives page. And be sure to join the conversation – follow @CiscoCloud and use #CiscoCloud, or leave a comment below.

Read some of our past stories of how cloud and The Human Face of Big Data are changing our personal and professional lives:

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