This article is featured in the July 2014 issue of the Cisco TS Newsletter. Subscribe now to have monthly issues delivered to your inbox.
Almost 1 year ago Cisco announced the creation of a new group focused on creating and delivering solution for the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is not a new concept, it has been around for some time now, sometime between 2008 and 2009 the number of Internet-connected devices surpassed the number of people living in the planet, but what we have in front of us is perhaps one of the biggest technology revolutions of our time. Just think about it, as big as the Internet is today, we have only connected about 1% of the total number of devices (or things) that could be connected. What an incredible opportunity to bring innovation and excitement to our industry!
Now, the road to realize the value and potential of the IoT will not be easy. It needs a new essential infrastructure to support it. It will be an evolution of our current Internet, but in a scale completely different. And it also needs cooperation between 2 distinct technology-oriented groups inside most companies: the information technology (IT) group, and the operational technology (OT) group. For most of the companies, the challenge of taking IT-related technologies to new places in the network is not small.
As the IoT market gets better defined and developed, and grows in size and relevance, it presents an unprecedented opportunity for IT professionals to engage in the conversation and bring in their experience, skills and perspective. The IoT solutions required by OT professionals are ripe for innovation, the type of innovation that IT professionals are great at.
Resilient, scalable and secure converged networks, simplified and automated management, new computing models (like Fog) that deliver distributed intelligence, and system-wide application enablement are building blocks for more advanced and smarter solutions for IoT.
These are some of the defining characteristics of the IoT market that should be considered too:
Now, let’s talk about Business Value. All these technologies and differentiated characteristics also open great opportunities to enable new business models, to create new value streams, and to deliver better services to customers. Think about these examples in terms of business value enabled by Cisco’s IoT portfolio:
But that’s not all. And it’s not just about business value. The IoT solutions that can be delivered by a combination of the know-how of both OT and IT professionals can also greatly improve the quality of life for all of us. Consider these examples:
So as you can see IoT represents great opportunities to create value at the business and personal levels. Most importantly, it really represents an opportunity for innovation, to enable new and exciting business models, to create a new generation of customer and citizen services, and to extend the reach and power of the Internet to areas where we need it the most.
As the market grows, Cisco continues to invest on its development. From our involvement as hosts of the IoT World Forum and the creation of its Steering Committee, to the investment in startups and incubators, the IoT Grand Challenges for Security and Innovation (and more to come soon), to the work our teams do every day with the industry standards groups to foster interoperability. We have open already almost 10 Cisco Innovation Centers around the world, and in average, every week we have at least one Cisco representative sharing our perspective on IoT and helping to educate customers and partners on the possibilities it opens.
It will take some work, but the journey has started and we are leading it. We are starting to harvest success in all areas in the market; the time to make it big on IoT is now. If you have a passion about innovation, about changing the way people live, work, play and learn, in the best Cisco tradition, come and join us!