The world is growing more connected every day. By 2025, the number of connected devices worldwide is projected to reach 75 billion, or around 10 times the number of humans on Earth. One of the main drivers of this astonishing increase ineveryday connectivity, which will impact everything from city planning to first responders to healthcare, is the Internet of Everything.
What Is Internet of Everything?
The term Internet of Everything, or IoE for short, was coined by Cisco in 2013, which describes it as the amalgamation of “people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before-turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.”
By 2015, the IoE was already listed as one of the top trends of the year by Gartner. Since then, the global IoE market has grown exponentially, and it’s estimated to reach $23.97 trillion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rateof 15 percent.
The IoE is expected to reinvent virtually all industries at every level. From real-time, multidimensional data analysis in manufacturing to integration of sensor data, ability to direct staff, and predictive analytics in city management to customer behavior analysis, data analytics, and visualization in retail, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the world will be a different place just a few years from now, and the IoE will be largely responsible for its change.
To really understand where the value of the IoE is coming from, it’s helpful to take a closer look at its key components:
- Peopleare the users of the connected devices that represent the individual cells forming the IoE. As such, a bulk of the data generated by connected devices is actually about people, their health, work habits, or personal preferences, just to give a few examples.
- Processes make it possible for individuals, businesses, cities, and even whole countries to fully realize the benefits of the IoT. They are the connective tissue that binds the billions of connected devices together and makes them far more useful than they would be on their own.
- Datacoming from a number of different sources, including personal healthcare devices, industrial machinery, security systems, or connected vehicles is the main product of the IoE. When properly classified and analyzed, data provides insights that can help businesses in decision making and improving processes.
- Things are the foundational layer of the IoE. They are the various physical devices and connected objects that are often grouped together and called the Internet of Things (IoT).
Internet of Everything Versus Internet of Things
The Internet of Everything is sometimes considered synonymous with the Internet of Things, but the two are completely distinct, even if closely related concepts.
“In some ways, you can see the Internet of Things as the equivalent of a railroad line, including the tracks and the connections, whereas the Internet of Everything is all of that, and the trains, ticket machines, staff, customers, weather conditions, etc.,” explains CloudRail’s online marketing manager Luke Simmons.
As we’ve already explained, the IoE has four pillars—people, process, data, and things—and the IoT is the last one of them.
The Internet of Everything, which is commonly described as the networked connection of people, process, data, and things, is quickly emerging as the next stage of digitalization, and experts predict that its impact will reach virtually every industry. But as the world gets more connected and becomes more data-driven, we mustn’t forget to pay sufficient attention to the privacy and security challenges that will inevitably arise.