One of the key specifics former Cisco CEO John Chambers addressed during his opening keynote at the annual Cisco Partner Summit a couple of weeks ago was the inevitability of the “Internet of Everything” (IoE) in the digital age. “One of the themes we heard from our partners and our joint customers coming into this event is that every company, every country, every home is going to become digital,” he said. “The foundation of this transformation is the Internet of Everything along with our architectures – bundled with security.”
Cisco isn’t the only company preparing partners for the next big disruption in IT. At its annual partner summit last week, Zebra Technologies CEO Anders Gustafsson addressed a room of more than 900 channel partners about three specific mega trends (Sensing, Cloud, and Mobility) that are converging and ushering in a new trend — the Internet of Things (IoT).
CompTIA puts the IoT/IoE trend into perspective in its latest report: “Sizing Up the Internet of Things.” After gathering feedback from nearly 300 U.S. IT companies, ranging from small IT firms to Fortune 500 firms, CompTIA concluded:
* There will be an estimated 50.1 billion connected devices by the year 2020, compared with about 14.4 billion currently. Today’s IoT devices primarily comprise computers, mobile phones, and tablets whereas over the next five years we’ll see more “non traditional” devices, such as automobiles, thermostats, appliances, and shipping containers automatically sending and receiving data via the Internet.
* IoT will represent $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add, suggesting a world of new opportunity for businesses, says CompTIA.
* The ecosystem for IoT is complicated; which is always a positive for channel firms who can help end users with selecting and implementing devices, performing data analyses, and integrating IoT hardware, software, and services.
One of the biggest challenges IT solution providers are going to need to address for their customers was summarized recently by Lee Pickler (Yes, he is related to Kellie Pickler), president of ScanOnline. “As online traffic spikes from billions of devices traversing the Internet to trillions, data traffic density is going to become a real issue.”