Hyper-connected: the Internet of Everything includes intelligent buildings, connected vehicle fleets and smart factories.Photo: istock
While Australia's political leaders are caught in a debate over the best way to deliver high speed broadband, it seems we are also lagging the world in terms of using what we already have.
A new study from the US network equipment maker Cisco found Australia's private sector ranked only tenth globally in terms of realising value from the internet, and was capturing just 47.9 per cent of the benefits. This placed it well behind the world leader Germany on 62.2 per cent, and also behind emerging markets including India, Brazil and China.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) Value Index surveyed 7501 business and IT decision makers in large and mid-sized organisations. It examined 21 business activities where the internet could add value, including employee productivity, improved customer experience, and supply chain/logistics efficiency.
It found the internet could deliver total value of $1.2 trillion across the world's 12 most developed economies in 2013, but only 53 per cent of that would be realised. Over the ten years to 2022 the total global value at stake would add up to $14.4 trillion.
The managing director for Cisco in Australia and New Zealand Ken Boal said that while Cisco had traditionally reported on global network speeds through its Visual Networking Index, the Internet of Everything concept allowed it to examine specific activities such as the development of intelligent buildings, connected vehicle fleets and smart factories.
The IoE Index found Australian businesses were held back by their need to invest in new technology infrastructure and their ability to integrate new technologies with legacy environments, update processes and absorb new technologies.
The confidence of Australian business leaders in their ability to capture value from the Internet of Everything was also startling low, rating their ability at 6.6 out of 10, well behind India on 8.2 and China on 8.0.
The IoE Index found that machine-to-machine communication (M2M) was a key driver that would account for 45 per cent of future value.
Mr Boal said Cisco estimated that 80 new devices were being connected to the internet every second, including industrial sensors and actuators. This would rise to 250 devices by 2020.
"That is then driving more data, and providing more intelligence and insight, which then brings people into the equation and changes behaviour," Mr Boal said. "The value of networks is increasing exponentially with device and sensor proliferation, and that is being crunched by more and more computing power."
The IoE Index findings mirrored those from a report released by GE in June titledThe Industrial Internet, which found huge economic benefits would arise from connecting people, data and machines to the internet. GE found this could potentially add €2.2 trillion to European GDP by 2030.
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