Over the last few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved from a promising concept to a projected $9 trillion economy by 2020, according to a recent study by IT research agency, International Data Corporation (IDC).
As more devices get connected to the Internet from health sensors, home heating and lighting systems, to large-scale manufacturing and smart cities—the sum of data offered by such a connected world is growing exponentially. Cisco Systems estimates that approximately 12.1 billion Internet-connected devices were in use during April 2014, and that figure is expected to grow to above 50 billion by 2020.
What makes IoT an economic game changer is the collective sum of all potential insights offered by these connected devices and the intersection between sectors of the economy (banking & retail, etc.). Businesses are increasingly relying on intelligence to offer new products and services and increase their scope and scale. To out-compete in this global economy businesses need to out-compute. The confluence and integration of cloud, big data, social collaboration, mobile and apps is rapidly reshaping our digital economy to an intelligence economy.
Wireless is destined to play a key component in this equation as the thirst for additional spectrum and broadband speeds continue to multiply. Several countries around the world are now assessing how 5G wireless networks will size up to this growing demand, and experts are calling for specs to be laid out so as to enable commercial rollout. At a projected 1Gbps speeds, the possibilities for hyper-connected and markedly more responsive business offerings are real.
The promise of this digital renaissance is expected to impact businesses, governments, and communities alike. While having the right economic conditions, enabling communications’ infrastructures; expanding trade agreements; increasing access to skilled talent, and enhancing security and privacy are top of mind to policy makers and businesses around the world, the net economic and social gains are yet to be fully analysed.
In the next couple of months ICTC will be conducting forward looking technology research, analysing the talent and labour market needs, and launching a one stop online portal (Digital Adoption Compass – URL) to help in particular SMEs gain an understanding of the business potential offered by the IoT.
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President and CEO, Namir Anani