If you’re like us, it’s hard to check your Twitter feed without some mention of the Internet of Things (IoT). From tech journals to main stream media, everyone is talking about the seemingly inevitable march towards everything around us being connected. Just eight years into the smartphone era, it’s hard to remember back to the time when you didn’t have turn-by-turn directions, social media or the latest game at your fingertips. By 2025, it may be hard to remember when (gasp) your refrigerator didn’t know how to order milk before you ran out.
The Internet of Everything
And while all of this cool tech and data is the focus of much of the press, there’s an even bigger story brewing. It’s about the broader Internet of Everything (IoE) which encompasses the IoT and then adds people and processes to the mix. When you blend those things together, you get the IoE – and the real changes we’ll see daily both as consumers looking to simplify or enhance our lives and as businesses looking to optimize every aspect from customer interactions to operations.
We really like what we’re seeing from various people at Cisco these days in terms of the difference between the IoT and the IoE. The IoT is mainly focused on devices that connect to the Internet and through it, to each other. These interconnected devices can then coordinate all kinds of tasks automatically. IoE on the other hand is even broader and creates the ecosystem that will allow the IoT to really catch on.
By 2022, IoE to Become World Superpower Economy?!
Remember the smartphone revolution (i.e. that period we’re in the midst of right now)? Well get ready. The IoE is going to be even bigger. How big? Experts across the industry are predicting numbers that are difficult to even comprehend. If you ask Cisco, over the next 7 years, they’re predicting 200+ billion connected devices and $14.4 trillion in value created. To put that in perspective, consider this. We’ll elect a new president next year. If he/she wins a second term, before that person is out of office, the IoE will have created enough value to be considered the one of the largest economies in the world ($14.4 trillion is behind only the U.S. in 2014 GDP). Let that sink in for a minute. If the IoE was a country, today it would be relatively powerless. In 7 years, it would be an economic powerhouse, rivaling many countries like France and the UK in terms of total production.
Leverage the IoE, Start Now
We see a lot of people focused on the Things, which are key to the overall picture. But in your five year strategy, you need to be planning for the people and processes just as much. The IoE has the power to fundamentally transform businesses, entire industries and even the entire world economy. Our advice? Take a progressive approach, start today and allow your company to use the momentum of the inevitable IoE to propel your business ahead faster than you ever thought possible.