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IoE's $19 trillion value proposition

IoE's  trillion value proposition.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is expected to deliver $19 trillion of value to businesses and countries, according to Cisco officials.

Cisco defines IoE as a networked connection of people, process, data, and things.

And according to the networking technology firm the benefit of IoE is derived from the impact of connecting people, process, data, and things, and the value this increased connectedness creates as "everything" comes online.

Speaking at the One Africa Partner Summit, Wendy Mars, vice president of the Cisco enterprise business group in EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia) said the value of the IoE will not come to those who simply connect the most devices to a network.

Mars explained that those (businesses and countries) that focus on improving their data capabilities (integration, automation, and analysis) and overall process agility will see the value of the IoE.

She said over the next decade businesses, cities, and countries would digitise to position themselves to extract the value of the IoE.

So what does this mean for the continent as many African businesses are still thinking of going digital or at the beginning stages of a digital make-over?

Alistair Petersen, director of growth implementation solutions for Frost & Sullivan Africa says African nations can start the digital campaign at any and every level.

According to David Meads, vice president for Cisco Africa the continent can claim its share of the value of IoE especially in the public sector. Africa's public sector can generate some $128 billion of IoE value, he said.

And in South Africa, for example, IoE could generate $14.3 billion in value for the country's public sector alone over the next decade.

According to Cisco's latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast 2015 for South Africa the IoE trend is showing tangible growth as M2M connections will grow to 21 million by 2019.

There will be significant IoE adoption across many business verticals for example agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transportation as well as connected home deployments (video security, smart meters, and lighting/temperature control), the report states.

Mars explained that the connection of cities, communities, businesses and even entire countries via the IoE is the best way to expedite growth; it drives job creation, opens up education to more people, improves health, advances welfare and fuels innovation.

Petersen told ITWeb Africa that IoE is more likely to happen in cities or even suburbs, rather than at a country level.

"This is because the focused intention to be more digital can allow multiple solutions to be implemented. For example, fibre connectivity leads to wireless hotspots, leads to parking sensor capability, which leads to e-billing, which leads to solutions like prebooked parking spots, and so on.

"A suburb like Sandton (in Johannesburg) could easily become the first IoE hotspot in Africa," Petersen noted.

With regards to African nations taking part in the IoE journey Petersen explains that governments at a provincial and local level are already opening up to hackathons where startups can create solutions from access to government systems and data.

They are, however, limited in terms of whether the data in those systems is accurate and valid, he said.

Petersen has noted that the main inhibitors for IoE in Africa are legislation or promoting factor, where certain countries may enforce privacy laws at a level that nullifies potential solutions.

"Access to electricity is also a key factor; however, the primary delivery mechanism - broadband spectrum - is the definitive pivot for whether IoE is a reality or not.

"Without connectivity there can be no IoE communication and, therefore, no solution enablement," he stated.

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