Future tech

The Internet of Everything is worth trillions

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The Internet of Everything is here, and the boon in connectivity among people, processes, data and devices will create $19 trillion in value over the next decade, according to an economic analysis conducted by Cisco Systems.

The study claims a new value of $14.4 trillion for the worldwide private sector and $4.6 trillion for the worldwide public sector, with U.S. civilian agencies generating approximately $600 billion through a combination of improved efficiencies, increased savings and new revenue.

Joseph Bradley, managing director of Cisco Consulting Services' Internet of Everything practice, said the statistics come from detailed studies of dozens of public-sector activities for which new connectivity will create at least $10 billion in revenue.

"We started out with a list of 70 use cases and actually engaged with customers around the world" to narrow the list to about 40 major cases, Bradley said at a press conference Jan. 8. He added that increased efficiency, reduced waste and higher employee productivity were among the chief areas in which the Internet of Everything would create new value.

The study lists the five biggest drivers of value for the government as:

  • Higher employee productivity ($1.8 trillion) -- including improved labor effectiveness for new and existing services.
  • Connected militarized defense ($1.5 trillion) -- a fourfold force-multiplier effect through improved situational awareness and connected command centers, vehicles and supplies.
  • Cost reduction ($740 billion) -- via improved labor efficiency and better use of capital expenditures.
  • Enhanced citizen experience ($412 billion) -- in the form of shorter search times, environmental improvements and better health outcomes.
  • Increased revenue ($125 billion) -- including an improved ability to match supply with demand, and better monitoring and compliance.

The number of devices connected to the Internet has increased from about 200 million in 2000 to about 10 billion now, and that number is expected to triple by 2020 as a wealth of new sensors and devices -- kitchen appliances, automobiles, and computer chips implanted in humans and animals, to name a few -- connect to the Internet.

The increased connectivity has many futurists and technologists concerned about security, especially as it relates to the government. Yet Cisco's study suggests that the biggest potential value from the Internet of Everything lies in a global public workforce of 350 million people, not in the connected devices themselves.

"For federal agencies, the Next-Generation Workforce use cases (mobile collaboration, BYOD, telework, virtual desktop, travel avoidance) represent the largest opportunity to realize [Internet of Everything] value," the study states, suggesting that a growing telework-enabled cyber workforce is primed to realize never-before-seen efficiencies in productivity.

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