Internet of Everything - a connected, intelligent world

The number of groundbreaking technologies that are emerging and their potential impacts, both in our private lives and in a business context, can be overwhelming. New applications for technologies are under constant development and it is not always immediately clear what benefits and risks they present to organisations, especially given the pace at which technology advances.

We have already discussed the Internet of Things (the IoT) and the need to prioritise cyber security and data protection in an era where not only computers but devices, or things such as vehicles, wearables, appliances and machines on the factory floor, send data over networks. But what about the Internet of Everything (IoE)? What is it? How is it different from the IoT and how will it impact upon organisations as it continues to emerge, transitioning from a concept into a reality?

The IoT and IoE are often referenced interchangeably, which confuses matters. Cisco, which coined the term in a white paper in 2013, defines the IoE as the “intelligent connection of people, process, data and things, together to make networked connections more relevant and valuable” and explains further: “The 'Internet of Everything' builds on the foundation of the 'Internet of Things' by adding network intelligence that allows convergence, orchestration and visibility across previously disparate systems.” The goal being to have “new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries”.

One well-put example explains that “the Internet of Things [is] 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”.

Emphasis should be placed on some of Cisco's terminology: “intelligent connection”, “network intelligence”, “data in motion” and “context-aware devices”.

In a sense, the IoT is the first step…