Why The Hype About The Internet Of Things Is Like A Kid Playing In A Pile Of Horse Manure

One analyst thinks we’re going to have to dig a bit deeper to find solid business cases to support the next generation of the internet. Image: Shutterstock.

Cisco calls it the Internet of Everything, GE calls it the Industrial Internet and Salesforce uses the term Internet of Things.

Regardless of the name there’s a huge buzz about the potential in a coming explosion in connectivity and data that could change the world.

But it’s still just a vision for now.

At networking company Cisco’s conference in Melbourne this week the buzz was there too, there were also frank admissions, including from senior people, that nobody really knows what the Internet of Everything is going to look like and what the business opportunities might be.

As one analyst told Business Insider on the sidelines, there’s no point creating all this hype around a crazily connected world if you can’t back it up with sound business cases.

He used a great analogy to present his case – it went something like this:

A psychologist was researching what makes children happy.

First up he put a child in a room filled with toys, the child was so excited he played for about an hour before he got bored.

Next the psychologist put the child in a room full of horse manure, the child played for about three hours, rolling around in the filth and having a great time before the psychologist went in and asked ‘why are you so happy playing in poop?’

The child responded: ‘With so much horse poo there has to be a pony in here somewhere.’

The point he was making was when it comes to IoE, II, IoT or any other buzzword for the next gen of the internet – let’s hope they find the pony in the pile of poo and that it has more than one trick, because Cisco is estimating there’s about $19 trillion riding on it over the next decade.

Cisco chief technology officer Kevin Block says the vision still needs to be mapped out.

“We need your help to translate this vision into what’s possible,” he said at the company’s Cisco Live event in Melbourne this week.

Block admitted when the company first started throwing around the monetary figures back in December 2012 he was a cynic but after talking to people about the capabilities of IoE that’s all changed.

“Over a couple of years talking to people I really am a born again and believe we can do something transformational,” he said.

Block explained connecting data, processes, people and devices could revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered, how mines operate, as well the world’s retail and manufacturing sectors.

“The accelerating costs of health care is such that asking a nurse to just do another hour or doctors to work harder just isn’t going to cut it,” he said.

“The question is: ‘how are you going to do that?’ And that’s the challenge for us.”

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