The digital revolution has opened the door for new services, new business models and new revenue streams. Such rapid innovation is having a tremendous impact on the global economy; in fact, Oxford Economics projects that by 2020 digital technologies will propel annual GDP growth to the tune of $1.36 trillion from just the world’s top 10 economies. One of the biggest innovations driving growth is the internet of things, or IoT. The benefits of the IoT to big business are obvious, but how are such technological advancements improving the lives of consumers?
What’s Good For Producers is Good For Consumers
Futurist Jason Hope has been thinking and writing about the implications of digital technologies for years. His knack for predicting market trends has made him a highly respected technology investor and commentator in the IT field.
“Right now, the IoT is really just a catch phrase for a new and interesting technology option,” Hope writes. “Soon, the Internet of Things, and connectivity in general, is going to be so common place, we also won’t think about it.”
Jason Hope cites Kroger’s implementation of IoT technology to monitor and control temperatures in their frozen food aisles as an example of things that will likely be commonplace in a few years. Such investments ultimately save businesses money by preventing losses, which allows them in turn to invest in new services for consumers. Customers also benefit because they get ice cream that is neither rock solid nor on the verge of melting.
Hope’s vision for the future isn’t limited to the IoT. Aside from his own work in the IT industry, Hope funds philanthropic efforts that harness technology to improve people’s lives. For example, he recently donated a half-million dollars to the SENS Foundation’s efforts to develop regenerative medicines aimed at combating age-related illnesses. People today are already living longer than ever before thanks to breakthroughs in healthcare, but we could be well on our way to immortality.
New Technologies Begat New Opportunities
Thanks to digitization, new business partnerships are being formed to create services that didn’t exist a decade ago. For example, in 2016 IBM purchased the parent company of The Weather Channel and developed a powerful weather data services platform. Thanks to advancement in the IoT, IBM can now use their analytics and cloud services to deliver real-time weather information to users.
These types of innovations can cause a ripple effect across industries. Having access to minute-by-minute weather updates is useful to other businesses. For instance, a home insurance company can track storms and send customers alerts containing information about how to safeguard their property. Homeowners appreciate the advice, but the company also benefits by potentially reducing damage claims.
Implementing such services requires more than creativity; it necessitates big data, real-time analytics, artificial intelligence and other IoT-based technologies. All of these things working together in harmony is called “interconnection.”
Interconnection and the Rise of the Cloud
If you were alive during the 1990s, you may remember hearing the web referred to as “the information superhighway.” While the term has fallen out of fashion, it’s now a very accurate description of global IT infrastructure. An unfathomable amount of data is traversing the planet at any given millisecond. Interconnection is concerned with streamlining communications to better control the unprecedented flow of traffic between devices.
Cloud computing has risen over the past few years to meet the growing demand for interconnection. Indeed, interconnection bandwidth capacity is poised to grow at annual rate of 160 percent, which will translate into massive profits for cloud providers.
As new technologies build upon one another to birth new products for businesses and consumers, interconnection will become increasingly necessary to deliver uninterrupted service. For example, when IBM bought The Weather Channel, they migrated their business IT and applications to a multi-cloud management platform. Outsourcing interconnection allows IBM to focus more on their core services, which keeps users happy.
What does the future hold? According to Jason Hope, we’ll likely see businesses shift their focus toward competing for IoT application mindshare.
“Today, millions of cool apps are available and used by smartphone users,” Hope says. “Getting businesses and consumers to value a development is going to be crucial, and this is where developers will find their fight.”
About Jason Hope
Futurist Jason Hope specializes in applying market analysis to predict the economic impact of technological advancements, which has made him a successful technology investor. Hope grew up in Arizona and has an MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He now resides in Scottsdale and has become a respected commentator on state, national and global business politics.