Cisco Canada Blog

$400 Billion is the Value at Stake for Canada

June 27, 2013

The Internet-of-Everything (IoE) opportunity is knocking and Canadians should be rolling out the welcome mat.

You’ve likely heard Cisco talking about the Internet of Everything (IoE) as that technological transition of unprecedented magnitude, where intelligent connections pull together people, processes, data and things to create dynamic new ways to do and get things done, plus improve efficiencies and productivity.

The IoE asserts that 99% of things in this world are unconnected and considers what might be possible if we were to intelligently link all of it. That would be truly amazing! Just think about how dynamically our world has already changed for the better during the past 10 or 20 years by simply connecting less than 1% of things. 

It’s not just a pipe dream.

The IoE is taking shape today. Research conducted by Cisco conservatively estimates the scope of IoE opportunity – called “value at stake” – over the next 10 years to be more than $14.4 trillion, globally. These are new dollars from products and services created by this IoE connectivity explosion. In Canada alone the value at stake is estimated to be $400 billion-plus, including almost $57 billion available in 2013 alone, and of which more than $26 billion remains untapped. You can explore our ‘Value Index’ research here.

People everywhere are seeing the potential. An online survey, conducted by Cisco Consulting Services, of more than 7,500 businesses and IT decision makers from around the world shows 80% of Canadian respondents surveyed saying they’ve already seen the value and significance of IoE.

Just as importantly, those same respondents say they believe moving to the IoE will accelerate the pace of innovation in Canada. That’s a vitally important consideration, given our country’s historically poor performance in that area and in labour productivity. Canada averaged less than 1% annual productivity growth during the first 10 years of 2000. The situation may be getting even worse, if you consider recent reports from various think tanks. I’ve been among those speaking to audiences across Canada, stressing the importance of improving productivity and innovation in order to ensure a great standard of living for this country. The value created by IoE could be a catalyst for changing Canada’s fortunes for the better.

Energy firms, among the crown jewels of Canadian industry, stand to be revolutionized by the capabilities of IoE. Just think of how intelligent connectivity might achieve by placing sensors in every piece of equipment then networking all, to smart management systems that learn from experience and constantly fine tunes itself to continually improve process performance and all of the distribution and delivery mechanisms tied to energy extraction and delivery.

Consider what could be done in the oil and gas segment of Canada, particularly in the key areas of resource transport and delivery. Through smart and predictive management and tracking systems plus the use of networked sensors for monitoring and the ability to make decisions on the fly, a much more efficient and safer oil and gas extraction and delivery system could be created.

IoE is not just about industries. Every element of our personal lives can be enriched. Healthcare, for example, an area that is already being revolutionized through applications such as telemedicine and the advent of common health records, which provide a single true view of a patient’s health information for all doctors and service providers, will move even further above and beyond. IoE applications like miniaturized intelligent on-the-fly diagnosis through chips placed in a pill that a patient might swallow. The state of that patient’s health is monitored and analyzed as the pill makes its way through the body and eventually out of it. There’s talk of a smart garment that could be worn by a patient suffering a heart condition. It would monitor the patient and communicate his or her status back to a doctor and even update the patient’s electronic medical record. These are but two conceivable applications. There are many, many more.

Through a constant gathering of huge data volumes from every connected source, the processes of all industries and occupations would continually improve. Predictive analytics – attaching meaning to all that data gathered on intelligent devices – take on a whole new level of capability and usefulness for every imaginable business and organizational undertaking. The world and all of its processes become smarter, automated and better because these are intelligently connected.

Above all, the IoE is transformative. The building of intelligently-connected people, processes, data and things is inherently innovative and it will have a huge impact on improving productivity in everything and for everyone. It’s a recipe for the kind of change Canada needs.

I believe Canada should be leading the way in the adoption of IoE. It can set us on a path towards a future that will become the present sooner then we think. And, it will make a difference to so many of the innovation and productivity challenges that we currently struggle with as a nation.

Opportunity is, indeed, knocking!

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