Internet of Things: Where Connections and Value Intersect
The evolution of the Internet is a combination of integrative factors that improve connectivity, create networked economies and build immersive experiences to create an increasingly connected world known as the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE brings together people, processes, data and things through networked connections. These connections offer value by turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences and unprecedented economic opportunities.
Connected Devices = Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is focused on machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. IoT consists of networks of sensors connecting objects to communications devices, in turn providing data that can be further analyzed and used to initiate automated actions. According to Cisco’s Visual Network Index Forecast, IoT connections will grow three-fold from now through 2017 and M2M IP traffic will grow 20-fold over that same period.
A world where everything is connected…
The Internet of Everything is about people-to-people (P2P), machine-to-people (M2P) and M2M communication – it encompasses interconnectivity at the broadest, most efficient level. IoE takes IoT to the next level by connecting the unconnected. In fact, 99 percent of things in the world are still unconnected, meaning there is enormous growth opportunity. Based on Cisco’s own analysis, $19 trillion in IoE value is at stake in the private ($14.4T) and public ($4.6T) sectors combined over the next decade. It is important to note that you do not need to be a technical expert to take advantage of IoE in your agencies. IoE is about leveraging existing technologies and driving efficiencies in your business – like a regional office using a smart thermostat to save on heating or air conditioning.
Interconnectivity is extremely important in the federal space from both an operational efficiencies and secure intelligence standpoint. It includes all aspects of IT – connected devices, intelligent networks and virtualized data centers. Both military and civilian agencies can leverage the power of IoE. Soldiers and battlefield assets can connect to synchronize and share information and resources in real-time, resulting in greater safety for armed forces. Research labs and civilian agencies, such as NASA and Smithsonian, are leveraging these connections to integrate system data and develop shared networks of information. IoE is helping to connect and protect agency buildings and military bases by delivering everything from physical security monitoring to energy management and asset tracking.
Cisco’s IoE technology offers capabilities for both technical and non-technical users. There are numerous examples in various applications of these integrative technologies, demonstrating how IoE is poised to enhance productivity and efficiency:
- Connected Battlefield: Today’s military is adapting to asymmetric warfare to create a connected battlefield using new approaches with military operations. The combat cloud allows for information sharing and real-time collaboration to enhance quality and situational awareness, enabling self-synchronization of the mission fabric to manage complex military systems in a secure environment. Check out this MILCOM presentation by Larry Payne, area vice president, U.S. federal sales, to learn more about how IoE is impacting defense.
- First Response Scenarios: Having a connected network with people, processes and machines is crucial in first response scenarios. With integrated technologies in place, first responders can better utilize their assets and response teams, improve customer experience and reduce waiting times in emergency situations.
- Agriculture: There is a significant amount of resources wasted because of current technology in place that distributes valuable resources across fields when they may not necessarily need it. Crop-monitoring and soil sensors can reduce waste and gain efficiencies. Automated irrigation is part of this machine-to-machine connection done at the Fog computing layer so that fields are watered when they need to be watered, as well as tailored for the specific crops that are being grown.
- TSA Checkpoints of the Future: By bringing traditional cloud data centers, network services and end-user devices together, TSA agents can register and scan travelers at security checkpoints quickly and simply to verify their information and identify potential threats. Not only does this improve security, it reduces time spent at checkpoints, allowing for resources to be allocated elsewhere while improving travelers’ overall experience.
Is IoE the next step for you?
These are just a few of a vast amount of potential use cases for the Internet of Everything to help improve Federal agencies’ operations, mission performance, citizen services, and business outcomes. Cisco’s IoE technologies and experts can help you prepare for what’s coming and react to what’s already arrived. To move forward, you should determine your team’s bandwidth and technological capabilities with regard to unlocking the value of connections. It is important to have the right partners and ecosystem in place to leverage cloud resources and expand dynamically within your scalable bounds. Additionally, understand the capabilities and limitations of your security; without secured knowledge, your critical information is at risk. Read up on how you can secure the Internet of Things.
To recap, the Internet of Everything brings people, process, data, and things together and creates integrated architectures that include all aspects of IT (connected devices, intelligent networks and virtualized data centers) in new ways that enable transition to Fast IT. IoE is a $19T opportunity for businesses and governments globally over the next 10 years. It creates new value through machine to machine, machine to human and human to human connections that improve information sharing and decision making processes – resulting in greater productivity, flexibility and cost efficiencies – but most importantly delivering relevant mission and business outcomes.
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Have no fear, you’ll be muttering “the value of connections” in your sleep in no time!