IoE: Is it real or just a figment of our imagination?

By: Tarek Assaf, Vice President and Regional Head of Middle East & North Africa

What is real and what is not? How do we define what’s real? Is it only based on what we see, touch and feel? Or is it simply too big for us to comprehend and may seem like a figment of our imagination?

Information Technology has taken us from what we once believed to be a fantasy into reality, and we all have witnessed the evolution over the past 30 years. More so, the rapidly evolving changes took place in the last 7 years, keeping us on the edge of our feet. If so, then what do we call it? IT evolution or machine revolution? I call it “The Shift”.

You recall when the first computer was ever introduced to the workforce, the first floppy disk, the first analogue mobile phone, the first Walkman, the first server, and the first Mainframe. What we have now is a shift into the laptops and Tablets, smart phones, MP3 players the size of a pen, physical hardware into virtual hardware, etc. But that’s not all, we have also witnessed the shift with people working behind their desks into being mobile, able to stay connected simply with a click of buttons on the smallest devices, which you never thought it would exist today. Companies had transformed themselves from paper-based offices into paperless cloud storages, from in-house meeting rooms into WebEx virtual meeting rooms – the shift keeps on going.

Yesterday, it was the era of the “Internet of People”, where Internet dominated most of our daily living and interactions, from social media to the way of life. Today, it is the “Internet of Things”, also known as “IoT” – where computing devices, mechanical and digital machines – with the ability to transfer data over a network, and without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. But what is coming tomorrow? The shift is coming.

The focus will expand into two major areas, Digital and Cyber Security, for the upcoming shift to be fully functional. This Shift is called the “Internet of Everything”, also known as “IoE”.

The buzz around Internet of Everything (IoE) is set to become even stronger in the Middle East this year. IoE is the interconnections of people, processes, data, and things, which represents a USD 19 trillion opportunity, globally, over the next decade (USD 14.4 trillion in the private sector, and USD 4.6 trillion in the public sector). By 2020, the growth of connected “things” will reach USD 212 billion. IT organizations across the Middle East need to prepare for the IoE, and what we are now seeing is the emergence of an application economy, where the focus will no longer be simply on the hardware, but also on supporting a larger number of applications on all connected devices. It is Machine-to-Machine, Person-to-Machine and Person-to-Person Connections Driving Value.

So, the question that you got to ask yourself: “Am I prepared for this Shift”? and if so, “how do I go about it?”.

The answer is never simple or straight forward, but we, at LTI, can show you how.

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