Facts about the Internet of Things (IoT) are clear and have been widely published. The number of IoT sensors will grow to 50 billion by 2020, according to Cisco, and Intel estimates that we’ll have 200 billion Internet-connected things by 2030. Data will be the new sunlight as we create, replicate, and consume 44 zettabytes (or 44 trillion gigabytes) of data by 2030, according to EMC and IDC. And as if all this wasn’t enough, the speed of analytics will intensify thirty-fold by 2030 – with 95% of queries answered in mere milliseconds, according to SAP estimates.
If these trends continue (and they likely will), our lives will soon be powered by ambient computing, where most things, devices, and machines sense the world around us, communicate and analyze data, and more or less, act independently.
Although most organizations still classically store and analyze their data on laptops, smartphones, and data centers inside and outside the cloud, it’s safe to assume that data collection and analytics will eventually move into the periphery as well, at least partly. For example, smart machines – such as those used in connected vehicles – generate a massive amount of data, and we have yet to make most things intelligent.
The opportunity is boundless.
Economic impacts within your reach
Most of us who have spent a lifetime in the traditional IT industry will find it difficult to consider how an ambient computing economy and society will operate and appear. Even millennials born into the age of smartphones will probably be surprised when the focus shifts from the phone as the primary device to other levels.
We know from evolution and chaos theories that the highest level of creativity reveals itself within a system’s border. Because we are creating new boundaries for the IoT right now, businesses will eventually explode at the periphery of their current IT and business systems. In fact, the IoT will fundamentally create more sensors and receptors on the outside of our business systems, allowing us to gather and analyze more and better data. And as we cooperate with other companies and organizations to share this information, new business models will emerge with unprecedented diversity.
In the short term, changes are happening across strategic asset management, customer and consumer experience, product management, and services – bringing savings through lower carbon emissions, improved asset management, reduced replenishments, and downtime prevention, among others. However, over the long term, IDC research indicates that nearly 25% of all companies view the IoT as strategic and over 30% of industry leaders believe they will be disrupted by it at some point.
The economic impact will only become more significant as our reliance on the IoT grows. And when it comes to long-term transformation, you’ll know where to look: The periphery.
For more on how our increasingly connected world is changing lives, see Three Ways The Internet Of Things Can Improve Citizens’ Lives.