It’s the Gold Rush But What is the Internet of Things, Big Data and the Industrial Revolution 4.0?

It’s the Gold Rush But What is the Internet of Things, Big Data and the Industrial Revolution 4.0

We’re heading into the weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday but it wouldn’t have been so if not for the pervasive growth of technology.

In the last post, we talked about breaking our “Third World” mindset into something better than the “First World”. In this installment, we’ll dive into what’s really required for us to shatter our old mindset of linear formations and sequential occurrences with something that has taken the world by storm and will become a mainstay. 

The development of technology has been rather fascinating as we’re now seeing robotics and artificial intelligence slowly taking prominent control, something we or I definitely could not have imagined seeing back when we used to code in only Pascal or Cobol in college. But to fully appreciate the advent of things that are already very much present in our midst, we ought to remember some buzzwords for the purpose of this blog post:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Big Data
  • Industrial Revolution 4.0

There are more but we’ll just look at these first.

Internet of Things (IoT)

One of the easiest articles to understand what the Internet of Things (IoT) is comes from Forbes Contributor Jacob Morgan. His article, although half a decade old (as it was written in 2014) still has the necessary basics to enlighten us. 

According to Jacob’s “A Simple Explanation of Internet of Things”, IoT is essentially any device that has an on and off switch that can be connected to the Internet. And yes, everything from a toaster to refrigerator, TV, car, street lamps, the neon sign at the tattoo parlour to the neuron scanners in the hospitals can technically be part of the Internet of Things.

A Simple Explanation of The Internet of Things by Forbes Contributor Jacob Morgan.

Just how many IoT devices will there be? Well, different sources have a different set of numbers but in 2017, research and advisory company Gartner predicted 20.4 billion connected devices globally by 2020. Staggering!

So if there are going to be billions of things connected in time to come, what then presents the gold rush of the IoT? 

  • Will it be the technology itself? 
  • The devices? 
  • The connecting components? 
  • The people using them? 
  • Or will it be the programming wizards (Dave are you reading this?) who will be raking it in since everything needs to be coded? 
  • Will coding be taken over by AI-driven machines since they can undergo deep machine learning to develop and master new skills?

Big Data

Which also brings to mind, if the overbearing quantity of devices are going to be connected, then with every move we make on the devices, streams of data will also be entering and exiting them. 

Imagine your chats, your social media, your voice calls and videos. Now, imagine the amount of data flowing through from just you, one person. Then imagine one family, friends, schools, work place. Now expand that to a city, a country, the whole entire planet. 

If you’d like to investigate further about Big Data, there is a good piece written by analytics and software solutions company SAS here.

A good description of Big Data by analytics and software solutions company SAS.

It is actually part of the company’s website literature and not necessarily a blog or report but in it, it talks about how Doug Laney first thought of this concept in early 2000’s and why he looked at Big Data from a trinity perspective of Volume, Velocity and Variety. SAS themselves further added two more components – Variability and Veracity – to give it better-defined depth and length. 

Just on Veracity alone, SAS would also inspect the quality of the data, and not just leave them coming as they are. Why is this important? Because with every quality data absorbed into the analytics, it will churn a quality outcome. But if we allow rubbish to enter, then with the “giant mixer” mixing of all them together, you can expect inferior data quality to ooze out from the systems, no matter how powerful the algorithm and processing chips might be.

So where is the gold mine for Big Data? Will it be Analytics? Data Management? Or will it be the way we Manage the way Technology is coming into our organisations and our lives? Points worth pondering.

Industrial Revolution 4.0

As we now live and breathe a life fully dependent on smartphones, apps, connectivity, instant gratifications and crazy enough to even talk about self-driving or autonomous vehicles, flying cars and space travel, we are today standing as the perfect specimen living in the thick of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Whether you call it Industry 4.0 or IR4, they all point to the same thing. We have now surged ahead to co-exist with increasingly intelligent technologies to serve our lives better and increasingly pointed discoveries that will rewrite history in a faster pace and at a higher frequency than ever. 

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum, has penned a brilliant article on this very topic – The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum.

In the rather lengthy but impressive articulation of IR4’s facts, Klaus conveyed the message clearly on how we have seen the First Revolution benefited from the water and steam technologies, the power derived from mass production in the Second Revolution and the excitement we saw with digital technology in the Third Revolution. Today, we’re seated on the front row in a grandstand atmosphere cheering technopreneurs as they race to the 4th Industrial Revolution finish line. But the good news is, the race has only just begun. 

…most pertinently, how are we going to respond?

With everyone on board in this brave new world where a touch of the screen literally opens up a plethora of tricks and gimmicks even the most conscious and affluent just 20 years ago could not have fathomed, Industrial Revolution 4.0 is indeed a human civilisation blockbuster in the making.

Technology in this sense will come to speedier maturity and attain humane sanity that can help us co-exist harmoniously with each other and maybe even assist as a formidable and trusted partner to govern, lead and explore in the next 100 years. This is where endless births and mutations of technology will be making headlines, much like the techie nuggets of today like blockchain, robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and on and on…

Who knows, we may live to see cyborg prime ministers and presidents who will be programmed to serve the people following the just and fair Constitution of every nation, devoid of corruption, greed and evil agendas?

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