Just as the launch of Apple’s first iPhone changed the world in July 2007 --shaking up the smartphone industry by providing consumers with pocket computers -- Apple may very well do it again in 2015 when it ships its Apple Watch. Although the exact date is yet to be announced, shipments are expected to reach 30 to 60 million units in the first year. Should this occur, we will have no other choice but to welcome the Internet of Things (IoT) onto our wrists and into our. IoT will no longer simply be a ‘buzzword’ to describe the next wave of interconnectivity – it will be part of humans’ daily lifestyle at work and play.
With over 50 billion Internet-enabled devices expected to connect online by the year 2020, IoT’s rocket-paced growth will blow past the amazing growth of mobility itself, which boomed when personal mobile devices became the center our lives and “always there” communication at home and at work.
Back in the 1990s, when the popularity of mobile phones first began to grow, governments in regions like Europe and Japan seized the opportunity to create a standard - Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications – which drove standardization and ubiquitous nearly 100% network overage in their countries. The US, however, missed this opportunity, leaving it to the markets to pick technologies. With no mobile standards set, the U.S. has struggled with interoperability and reliable coverage across the country – lagging the world.
IoT represents an opportunity for the U.S. to seize a leadership role. Experts in the US agree that IoT will grow exponentially starting this year due largely to wearables, and that the US is be well-positioned to seize the opportunity to establish itself as a leader in secure interoperability and ubiquity for IoT. Recognizing that government needs to be more agile around consumer technology and the tremendous wave ahead, why shouldn’t public and private sectors collaborate to create a common standard with a more risk-based approach to IT?
Creating a set of standards surrounding IoT will yield tremendous advantages for businesses and government agencies alike. Imagine an area that’s vulnerable to natural disasters, such as the Gulf region which is prone to hurricanes. In the future, during and after a major storm, imagine the shoreline, power/water infrastructure, houses, cars, trucks, smartphones, and human wearables are all equipped with sensors reporting to first responders and evacuated homeowners the conditions of the entire disaster area. With the power of IoT, these sensors, connected via a standardized system over the Internet, enable first responders to focus their recovery efforts, homeowners to be aware if it’s safe to return home, agencies like FEMA to understand where to direct relief and businesses carrying essential supplies to prepare extra shipments.
As every part of our lives becomes more connected, from our watches to life-saving sensors, the power of IoT represents the next major technology wave of this generation. It is imperative that private and public organizations not only embrace the opportunities IoT will create, but also ensure the standards to support its many advances are at the forefront of the conversation, driven by ubiquity and success.
Brian Reed has 25 years driving strategy and products across enterprise systems/integration, databases/BI, appdev, ERP/CRM, and performance optimization with 10 years in mobility.. At Good, Brian works with clients, partners and industries to drive mobilization success. Brian is a frequent speaker on mobility, ITSM, business/gov/IT optimization, and ROI/TCO models.