The Digital Industrial Economy To Shake Up The IT Biz
October 14, 2013 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The wizards at Gartner held their annual Symposium/ITExpo extravaganza last week in Orlando, Florida, and as usual, the whitebeards in the pointy hats are trying to get CIOs excited about their prognostications.
First and foremost. Peter Sondergaard, a senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research at the company, assured everyone that the global IT market would grow by 3.6 percent to $3.8 trillion. But this, apparently is not where the action is. The “Internet of Things” as analysts and vendors are starting to call it, is what is really hot, according to Sondergaard.
The basic gist of this argument is that products of all shapes, sizes, and kinds will be given sensors and computing and will be connected to the Internet so they can communicate to their users and manufacturers. Four years ago, there were 2.5 billion devices connected to the Internet, and these were mostly laptops and smartphones, such as they were at the time. By 2020, Gartner expects for there to be 30 billion devices linked over the Internet, and most of these devices will be products that do not need human intervention to perform their tasks.
“Computing power will be cheap and covert. We won’t know it is there; it will be in our jewelry and in our clothing,” Sondergaard said. “We will throw more computers into our laundry in a week than we’ve used in our lifetimes so far.”
If you are of a certain age, this is probably going to creep you out a bit.
Presumably Moore’s Law will continue progressing enough on processing, storage, and networking technologies so this Internet of Things will be economically as well as technically feasible.
Gartner has run some numbers, as it is paid to do, and reckons that the total global economic value of this Internet of Things will add up to $1.9 trillion by 2020, and that it will affect all industries. Some, more than others. And, importantly, the Internet of Things will have a dramatic impact on how and where companies consume processing and storage to chew on all of the telemetry coming out of devices and users.
“What many traditional IT vendors sold you in the past is often not what you need for the digital future,” said Sondergaard. “Their channel strategy, sales force, partner ecosystem is challenged by different competitors, new buying centers, and changed customer business model. Digitalization creates an accelerated technology-driven start up environment across the globe. Many of the vendors who are on top today, such as Cisco, Oracle, and Microsoft, may not be leaders in the Digital Industrial Economy.”
It will be interesting to see how people react to all of this invisible computing and still more incursions to their so-called privacy. My guess is the changes will be so gradual and the integrated computing and telemetry back to product manufacturers will be pitched as services enhancing our lives, and I will further predict that most people will simply do what is easiest and not think about it too much.