The Internet of Everything – A New Business World

I watched the cartoon called “the Jetsons” as a child and remember exclaiming to myself that all flying cars and computer operated buildings and traffic lights were a pipe dream. Now in this age of “big data’, high speed internet and cloud computing, I’m conviced that the Internet of Things (IoT) is an idea whose time has come.

The falling costs and technology, coupled with the developments in complementary fields like mobile and cloud, together with support from software manufacturers have all contributed to the dawning of an IoT “quiet revolution”. From the time the first telephone call was made to this time when we can get live video feeds from a robotic vehicle on a far flung planet like Mars, the business community should beginning to look seriously at the IoT. The belief by some business leaders that that the idea of IoT is simply hype is akin to the farmer who hitched 18 horses to his brand new 500 horse power motor vehicle.

Wearable technologies are about to change the way we live, and that change is coming very soon. Being on top of this next generation of Internet is imperative to understanding future consumer and citizen trends. The Internet of Everything — the networked connection of individuals, process, data and machines, it is a strange new world of inanimate objects that complete tasks by talking to each other while you work, sleep, and play.

If you think of the Internet as a domain driven solely by humans, think again, Androids are the coming force. And, as with our human-driven Internet, the IoT is a game-changer, offering significant opportunity for the economy and business organisations. Various research studies have pegged the value of the IoT at multiple trillions of dollars by 2020. Research firm IDC estimates that, in 2020, over 40% of all data in the world will be data resulting from machines talking to one another. The message is loud and clear – the value at stake is too large, and the impact too wide-ranging, for any hint of complacency.

But do you as an organisation recognise the scale of the opportunity? Are you prepared to take advantage of the growing wave of sensor data? We’re moving towards a world in which every device we use generates useful data, in which every action creates ‘information shadows’ on the net, giving a brand new meaning to ‘big data’ and its analysis.

IoE opens up new opportunities (and risks) that public-sector leaders need to consider from multiple perspectives, in terms of policy leadership, services provision, and regulation. 70 percent of the public sector’s IoE Value at Stake will come from agency-specific implementations, while 30 percent will derive from cross-agency adoption of IoE. The five primary drivers of IoE Value for the governments are: 1) employee productivity, 2) connected militarized defense, 3) cost reduction, 4) citizen experience, and 5) increased revenue.

In the same way that research has shown that broadband has been a critical enabler of economic growth in most developed nations, coupled social inclusion, and improved government service delivery: the Internet of Everything (IoE) — In addition to connecting people, IoE’s ability to connect ever-growing numbers of sensors and actuators to objects or things on the Internet, to extract and analyse growing amounts of useful data, and then to use that analysis in automated and people-based processes has enormous potential across all sectors.

Why Does All This Matter?
For me personally as a marketer, business manager, consumer and citizen, it is important for business leaders to stay ahead of these trends. If our organisations are to understand how our business partners and consumers will expect to engage with technology in the future, we will be better prepared to deliver experiences that are both relevant and compelling, by creating great value propositions.

Why IoE for the Public Sector?
Most Governments at the city, province, and district levels are confronted by similar dilemmas worldwide, these being; how to meet increased citizen expectations in the face of reduced or flat budgets. Such challenges have led to an ever increasing divide between citizen expectations and what governments can actually deliver.

IoE offers governments the opportunity to make significant advances in citizen services:-

  • At State level – Knowledge worker productivity, data integrity, joined-up government, employee expectations, privacy
  • City or Local level – Workplace conditions, traffic congestion, citizen experience
  • Healthcare – Effective use of technology, meeting regulatory requirements, hospital stays and re-admissions, drug compliance, nursing costs
  • Defense – Minimizing combat casualties, cyber-security, shift from state to non-state actors, procurement and provisioning, logistics, soldier care
  • Education – Maximize technology for next-generation learning, rising costs, attract and retain quality teachers and students, scale globally, competition from traditional, international and new model players.

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