Cisco gets over-excited about IoE

Mar 14, 2013

Oh dear. Remember the Gartner hype cycle? It was a wonderfully Tolkienesque take on IT tech hype. The hype cycle starts, said Gartner, with some sort of technology trigger/breakthrough and then moves quickly up to the Peak of Inflated Expectations, plunges into the Trough of Disillusionment, trudges wearily up the Slope of Enlightenment until closure is reached on the Plateau of Productivity.

The problem is that Cisco's latest numerical outpouring may be urging the industry to climb the dreaded Peak of Inflated Expectations. Just sayin'.

So hype or what? After all, Cisco has form on big number-itis - in fact it recently downgraded its projections on data growth across the Internet. Might it not be getting over-excited again?

Cisco's own definition of the 'Internet of Everything' wraps up the current Internet and all its doings (mobile and video) along with the emerging Internet of Things to come up with huge numbers of dollar worth. All this connectedness, says Cisco, will result in a boost to corporate profits of 21 per cent by 2022, thus ker-chinging $14.4 trillion into the corporate world.

But how can a ten year projection on as yet vague applications and services be trusted to mean anything at all? Too many variables operating across too long a time-span, surely?

It's all carefully done using a bottom-up methodology, claimed the networking giant. The presentation given this week itemised where Cisco expects the value to turn up. According to Fredrick Paul at Read/Write Enterprise it was broken down thus:

- $2.5 trillion in better asset utilisation

- $2.5 trillion in employee productivity

- $2.7 in supply chain logistics

- $3.7 trillion in better customer experience.

- $3 trillion in enabling new innovations.

In fact, Cisco's Internet of Everything wraps together all the big IT/networking trends, such as big data, mobile and cloud as well as the impact of connected devices. What you end up with are applications that rely on a combination of all these bits of the jigsaw puzzle falling into place to create new ways to do things at greater scale and at less cost. M2M technology is therefore often seen as a key enabler, but seldom the sole, or even leading, source of value.

With this in mind $14.4 (why the .4?) trillion might be a reasonable stab at a highly diffuse and distant boost to corporate performance. Just don't get over-excited by it now, because in 10 years time we'll be having such fun with our jetpacks we won't even notice.

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