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The Internet of everything and everything on the Internet

Den Sullivan, Head of Architectures and Enterprise, Cisco Emerging Markets, noted at the recent Cisco Technology Summit held at Sun City that only 1% of devices that can be connected to the Internet are connected at present. That fact is now changing dramatically, with an anticipated 50 billion devices connecting to the Internet by 2020, only a few years from now.

This growth in connected devices changes everything. Society itself is being reshaped, with people themselves reshaping cities and the way we all interact. The Internet and all the devices that connect through the Internet, along with massive cloud-based computing, will force all businesses to adopt a new operating paradigm. Nobody can adopt a business as usual approach, least of all in emerging markets such as South Africa, where we have so much catching up to do.

Recent research from Cisco also revealed that that the Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate by 2018. The predicted continued growth of cloud traffic, cloud workloads and cloud storage will see cloud representing 76% of total data centre traffic by 2018. The research further highlights that in the Middle East and Africa, data centre traffic will reach 366 exabytes per year (30 exabytes per month) by 2018, up from 68 exabytes per year (5,7 exabytes per month) in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 40% from 2013 to 2018.

An indication of how fundamental this is to all of us, can be seen from Ericsson’s Networked Society City Index 2014 report (http://www.ericsson.com/res/docs/2014/networked-society-city-index-2014.pdf). The focus has shifted, with citizens driving smart cities and ultimately the Internet of things. The key insight from this report is that citizens using the Internet to make smarter choices actually make the cities smarter. But how? Cisco alluded to that answer, which is with connections. As we all demand greater connectivity and use that connectivity to improve our businesses and personal lives, we and the society around us get smarter.

A perfect example of this is that 76% of the respondents surveyed would like sensors in public spaces that would let them know which areas are crowded and best avoided. Seventy per cent want to compare their energy usage with that of  their neighbours in order to optimise their energy usage behaviour.

Business models will also change. Many may no longer own a car, for example, with 74% of respondents wanting both interactive street signs and bike or car sharing, all facilitated by smartphone apps. The signs are clear. Connected citizens, customers and society will lead business to change how they communicate, interact and even architect their operations and services going forward.

Those businesses that grasp this clear trend and take the opportunities presented will survive and thrive. Those that don’t will fade away as their customer base moves on. It is clear that people still want the familiar, so many of these service will retro fit or be adapted to fit  over existing services with a few disruptive new services such as Facebook coming out from time to time.

The key message is that we all need to keep an eye on the overwhelming advance of connectivity and grasp the opportunities that smart, informed, and hyper-connected societies present to us – from the largest to the smallest of business. ❐

GADGETS

Sony Xperia Z3

The new Sony Xperia Z3 is refined and superfast. Quality of construction is met with the latest technology and an Android experience that is smooth and sophisticated. The latest from Sony is also the most life resistant, with IP68 waterproofing. This is the best-looking, best-performing Xperia to date. It has outstanding battery life of up to two days of use and a screen that is bright and sharp in all conditions. Sony’s legendary camera quality is also enhanced on the new Z3. A must try if you are in the market for a premium smartphone.

Available on contract from operators countrywide.

www.sonymobile.com/za

Jawbone ERA

The Jawbone ERA Bluetooth headset has been crafted to blend seamlessly into your life and make interacting with people and smartphones even easier. You’ll no longer have to reach to your pocket while juggling music, deadlines and email at your desk and on the go. Sleek and unobtrusive looking with high-quality sound, the Era is an easy to use on the go companion to any smartphone. ERA’s audio interface via the downloadable app helps free up your screen and unlock the full potential of your device.

Available across the country for around

R1 500. More info at www.jawbone.com

Apple iPad Air 2

Apple have announced their latest tablet, the iPad Air 2. Refreshed and slimmed down, the new Apple iPad Air is the thinnest and lightest tablet on the market. New screen technology improves the colour and touch sensitivity of the screen along with the latest A8X processor keep the new ipad Air 2 at the forefront of tablet technology.

Available from the iStore FNB and Apple-approved dealers country-wide from R6 699

Author: Steven Ambrose CA(SA) is CEO of Strategy Worx Consulting

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