If you think the digital world is crowded now, wait until you see what the next few years will bring. Today, there are roughly two Internet-connected devices for every man, woman and child on the planet. By 2025, analysts are forecasting that this ratio will rise past six. This means we can expect to grow to nearly 50 billion Internet-connected devices in the next decade.
Over the next decade, most of the connected device growth will come from very small sensors that are primarily doing machine-to-machine communications and acting as the digital nerve endings for highly dynamic global sense-and-respond systems.
Driven by a revolution in cheap sensor technology, we have, for the first time, the ability to impart a central nervous system on our planet. This fabric of technology will allow us to measure systems on a global scale and at the same time offer a never before seen resolution.
The Role of the Cloud
If all of these sensors act as the central nervous system for the planet, then the cloud is the brain. It’s the place where all the data flooding in will be collected, collated, analyzed and turned into information and that information turned into knowledge.
In a world containing vast arrays of constantly changing sensors, the challenges for the cloud include scale of operations and rate of change. Whether it’s for a social network, a scientific study or for resource optimisations, a key characteristic of the Internet of things (IoT) is its massive scale and self-organising nature.
The challenge is the temporary nature of the network. As such the next generation of the cloud will need to malleable enough to scale autonomously, adaptive enough to handle constantly changing connections and resilient enough to stand up to the huge ebbs and flows in data that will occur. To meet this challenge, cloud computing will need to accelerate its evolution and rapidly move past its current form.