TURN IT ON: a lamp, a television, a car, a thermostat. Actions at the end of a finger --multiplied by millions of fingers--and connected to the Internet.
Guillermo Diaz Jr. speaks about the Internet of Everything and how it revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication: it's built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors.
"It's mobile, its virtual, its instantaneous and it's going to change our culture and make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports smart," according to Diaz, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Cisco. And Diaz is quick to point out that it was Cisco that developed the concept of the Internet of Everything: the intelligent connection of people, process, data and things.
Diaz, who joined Cisco in 2000, is responsible for leading the company's global information technology organization and services.
"The focus is on transforming the overall IT experience by strengthening foundational business capabilities," said Diaz.
Driven by faster Internet connections, ubiquitous smartphones and changing consumer demands, more businesses are now embracing the need to be more familiar with cloud-based applications.
"The real value that the internet of things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world isn't worth much if there isn't an infrastructure in place to analyze it in real time," Diaz said.
He stressed that cloud-based applications are the key to using leveraged data. The internet of things doesn't function without cloud-based applications to interpret and transmit the data coming from all sensors.
"The cloud is what enables the apps to go to work for you anywhere, anytime," said Diaz.
And Diaz knows this firsthand. He talked about how his mother survived cancer after having an operation conducted by robots powered via information technology. He talked about how today's children are digital mavens, naturally trained to access information at Internet speeds never dreamed of before. He also spoke about how the internet of things is going to give us more things by 2020.
But Diaz, who has been a major driver of the development of Cisco, cautions that securing information remains a critical challenge.
"Companies want to go fast but they...