When worlds collide, what happens to IT?

Every now and then, we, the people in IT field keep on hearing stuff about the next big thing or the latest buzzword. Be it Analytics, Big Data, Cloud and more recently Internet of Things (IoT). Every year or two, new buzzwords come up and start defining the timelines.

Truely, things are moving at speed of light and innovation is happening at break-neck speed. Things are getting connected. More and more data is being generated with each passing day. More and more sensors are getting affordable and getting placed everywhere and keep track of our life.

But still, we are defining each with the technology, the era of cloud / era of big data / era of analytics / era of IoT etc.

We need to stop looking at all these technologies as disparate/individual areas and see them as one system where all of them work together and that is when true innovation can be achieved.

According to a recent Gartner study, in 2020, more than 26 billion connected devices will be in use. An IDC study reports that there will be 212 Billion devices or things connected to networks by 2020. With global revenues for IoT to be US$ 8.9 trillion at CAGR of 7.9%.

Think of the scope offered by this opportunity!

It provides equal opportunity for established companies as well as startups. If you look at the startup scene now days, you will mostly find 2 types of ideas floating around:

1. “Edge” focused companies who are building the components which are at end of the line of feed, from where the feed starts e.g. NEST for home automation sensors or other embedded and gateway systems.

2. “Backend” focused companies who are building the services, which are being consumed by “Edge” companies. Now this maybe in cloud or anywhere, can provide simple services like hosting (like Heroku or Parse) or providing analytics, storage, CDN and lots of other services (like Amazon or Microsoft Azure)

These “edge” focused companies are doing amazing work in embedding sensors into a lot of devices and services which touch our lives day-in and day-out. Think of your televisions, smart phones, traffic lights, glasses, even your shoes also can contain sensors to provide with valuable and usable data.

Heck, Microsoft has been putting out those Future Vision videos out in the wild. Personally I do think that these visions are fully achievable. With the way how things are growing and we are getting connected, 4 distinct things are providing us the leverage:

Mobile : not just your smartphone but any sensor that you carry along, be it your fitness monitor on your wrist, Nike+ in your shoe, GPS in your smart phone or Google Glass on your eyes.

Cloud : all the sensors (IoT) and stuff you carry along need the data to be processed and be available to your devices. That is where cloud comes in and provides you the processing power and scalability which was earlier nearly unthinkable.

Big Data : with all the data being generated, whether it is through emails, tweets, shares, mobile devices, sensors on person and at locations, voice, video etc. All this data needs to be available and be processed and results available for final consumption. According to computer giant IBM, every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. It is not about historical data anymore. More and more services/sensors are requiring the data to be processed in real-time or near real-time and fed back for decision making.

Social : This whole crux is brought together by social services. Be it personal social networks like Facebook or professional ones like LinkedIn or enterprise ones like Yammer, it is the social fabric that will tie everything together.

With all these factors coming together, it is a perfect storm brewing. Now you will be wiped out by this storm or find opportunities in this storm, one thing is sure… face of IT is going to be changed forever.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts around this and listen to your views of how these factors are going to change the IT landscape. Jump in with your comments or catch me over social networks.

 

-Manpreet

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