After the Internet, there's the emerging Internet of Things. What comes after that? According to a new study from Cisco, the Internet of Everything (IoE) will lead businesses to at least $613 billion in global profits this year because of improved operations, customer service and other benefits.
Cisco's IoE Value Index study, which investigated 7,500 global businesses in 12 countries, described the IoE as the networked connection of not only things, but also data, people and processes, becoming "increased value as 'everything' joins the network."
According to Cisco CEO John Chambers, the IoE is also enabled by "the network intelligence that fuels the manageability, controllability and scalability required to support this incredible growth in connections." Cisco and others have been discussing the IoE for more than a year, pointing out that it goes far beyond the Internet of Things, which only refers to the "networked connections of physical objects."
Job Market, Wages
This next level of interconnectedness, the study said, is being enabled by sensor-embedded objects, mobile computing, cloud computing and the increased utility and presence of Big Data. The drivers of value include improvements in supply chain management, customer experience, innovation, time-to-market, asset utilization and employee productivity.
The Cisco study found that, of the business leaders who participated in the study, 69 percent said the global job market would stay the same or improve because of the IoE, and 89 percent thought wages would improve or stay the same.
Another half-trillion dollars could be generated this year, the study said, if companies took better advantage of IoE trends. To do so, it recommends investing in high-quality technology infrastructure and tools, adopting and following inclusive practices that enable all employees to contribute, and developing effective information management practices.
'Show Me the Product Roadmap'
Cisco also suggested that specific industries focus on specific IoE capabilities. Manufacturing companies, for instance, would most benefit from real-time, multi-dimensional data analysis, integrated video collaboration, and remote tracking of physical assets. Energy firms could best utilize the integration of sensor data, an ability to quickly locate experts, and predictive analytics, while retailers might focus on analytics and data visualization, interacting with customers via rich media, mobile payments and remote customer monitoring.
Laura DiDio, principal analyst at Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, said that, in hearing about the IoE, her first inclination is to say, "Show me the product roadmap." She added that this is simply Phase I, which begins with creating a concept, even if it's still somewhat fuzzy at this point.
DiDio pointed out that, at the beginning, cloud computing was also rather vague, and one could argue that the Internet itself was also a fuzzy idea at the very beginning. But there will undoubtedly be some new values and opportunities created by the next level of interconnectedness, she said, regardless of what it's called.