Today few people realise that our society is on the cusp of creating a new Epoch, one where in 400 years’ time our descendants will look back on our Age and compare it in the same way that we compare our Age to the Stone Age. The Internet of Everything will reach into every corner of our society, influence every corner of our behaviour and irrevocably change the way that we interact with our world.
Over 500 years ago in 1484 Leonardo Da Vinci recorded that “Everything connects to Everything” and while it would have been hard for him to prove it today we know that the atoms that make up our physical beings come from the same matter that make the stars and the universe, hence the phrase “Children of the Stars” and just as connectivity is in natures grand design it’s also in ours and we were born to connect so today, 530 years after Leonardo’s prophetic quote it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we are now beginning to connect nature and all of our own inimitable creations together.
Our momentum is gathering pace, the rate of change is quickening and as we race headlong into this new Epoch it’s also true that the old one, our old ways of life and our old behaviours will give way to new ones and traditional business models will all be torn down and have to be reshaped anew presenting Entrepreneurs and organisations alike with an unparalleled opportunity to capture and create new value and build new Empires.
Over the next twenty years the Internet of Everything will create at least $33 Trillion of new value and affect every industry on and off Earth but as we move headlong into what some are calling the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” we could also see at least a four fold increase in Global GDP and imagine what that would do for your organisation as well as our impoverished society.
As the world becomes more interconnected, instrumented and intelligent it will be easier for today’s discrete industries to share information and intelligence with each other and form new synergistic value, for example a simple rowing machine that has sensors embedded into it will be able to send information back to the manufacturer about material reliability and frequency of use so they can improve the product, but similarly it will be able to relay information about the rowers technique and cardiological fitness simultaneously to the user as well as their personal trainer or doctor so they can provide coaching advice and monitor wellness in real time.
The traditional world of business, the one that we all very much live in today is based on an increasingly antiquated capitalist stigma – buy, use, dispose of, buy again, repeat and as we head towards a new Internet of Everything software enabled world we will increasingly find ourselves holding onto our physical items, such as gadgets, appliances and even cars for longer because unlike today where we need to buy the latest product to get the latest features these new features will be delivered as firmware updates to our existing products and today we’re already seeing this begin to happen, from Smart TV’s, Smart Watches and Smart Phones all the way through to the next generation companies like Tesla whose ground breaking cars keep getting referred to as ‘Apps on Wheels’.
The way that we have all done business together in the past is going to die and in its place rising like a Phoenix from the flames, new business and operating models and new partnerships will be formed, new value will be captured and created and slowly but surely those organisations that fail to adapt and embrace the new world will be reduced to irrelevance.
The Internet of Everything is all encompassing and the multi trillion dollar mega trends that it helps create and drive such as Connected Vehicles, Connected Home, Human 2.0, the Industrial Internet, Smart Cities, Telemedicine and Wearable Technology, enabled by foundational technologies such as Big Data, Cloud, Mobile and Social will change our planet and the way that businesses do business forever. Organisations that embrace these new possibilities will flourish but organisations that sit still and let the tide wash over them will wither and die.