The future of the Internet

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The internet is changing how people work, live, produce and consume. With much extensive reach, digital technologies could not help but disrupt many existing business and government models.

THE AGE OF THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
With the age of the fourth industrial revolution, a technological transformation that’s internet driven, the challenge is managing the seismic change in a manner that promotes long-term, stability and health of the internet.

WHY DATA IS VERY RELEVANT
Data is at the heart of the internet, huge amounts of it. Volumes of data are growing at a 40 percent rate every year and would grow 50 times by 2020. A measure of the speed of growth is the estimate that 90 percent of all data worldwide was made in the last couple of years. As mobile usage rises, so do personal data volumes. More than half of all web users all over the world are in Asia. China has 1.3 billion mobile subscriptions out of its population of 1.36 billion. India on the other hand has 0.91 billion mobile subscriptions out of its 1.25 billion population. Yet, the amount of industrial data is rising even faster.

HOW THE INTERNET IS EVOLVING
There are several features, published articles and works that attempt to predict how the Internet and the world of technology would develop, including the rundown of the next few years by PBS’s, the Wall Street Journal’s general prediction of the future’s average internet experience as well as the BBC’s project of fears and ethics related to the possible changes that would come. There are some principles that stand out across most predictions and sources on the future of the internet.

1. Internet connection would be automatic and permanent. People have been connecting to the internet in different ways, from minutes-long processes of dialing up, to the seconds-long WiFi password entering for a particular location. Eventually, connectivity would be simplified and constant to a point wherein no individual ‘connection is truly necessary. Universal Internet is gradually becoming a reality and overall between systems could establish a redundancy layer, which prevents worries or bad connections and service outages.
2. Machines could take over jobs. Machines are already capable of a lot of manual tasks, and they are beginning to have mastery of high-level and intellectual tasks, such as writing. Along with the ubiquity of the Internet, the applications would make it so that more resources and less work are available directly. The need for persons to work would decrease, along with job availability, which could result to a system that is more or less balanced. As people struggle to find balance, undoubtedly people would encounter hurdles of joblessness as well as unbalanced resource distribution. However, these are short-term drawbacks of a richer, and more connected world.
3. Augmented and virtual reality play a major role. Mobile devices enable accessing the internet in the real world. However, next-gen devices would project the Internet, or embed it to the real world via a form of augmented reality. The Glass from Google pioneered this space, while HoloLens from Microsoft looks promising to carve the path forward. While augmented reality has witnessed some unsuccessful starts and fits, virtual reality, its close cousin is starting to see considerable growth amid the launch of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and the upcoming PlayStation VR. A few years ago, the world was not ready for virtual reality, but a few years from now, it would be.
4. The Internet of Things would fully mature. The Internet of Things already connects alarm clocks, refrigerators, and different other household appliances. In another fifteen years, the connection would extend to wallets, vehicles, health monitors and even paper currency. The more information that flows freely, the bigger freedom and power that people will have. This reality would drive the desire to connect everything people can to the Internet.
5. Privacy would be commoditized. With the constant connection to the internet and more applications running people’s lives, privacy would even be a bigger concern. It could even be commoditized to a point wherein only the rich could afford to be off the grid. As a result, there will be more independent companies and organizations striving to maintain some privacy level for consumers. Whether they would be successful or not is another story.

TRANSFORMATION
The internet is reshaping both private and public sector structures, making new business markets. Nonetheless, organizations would also have to strengthen the security of the customers’ data. Most digital benefits to date have come via efficiency gains as enterprises use data to tailor what they provide to customers. Another challenge and opportunity is to look for new sources of income and value from digital transformation.

In the years to come, the internet would continue to play a major role in people’s lives, in business organizations and practically just about anything.

Ritesh Mehta
Ritesh Mehta works as a senior Technical Account Manager in a software development company named TatvaSoft Australia based in Melbourne. He specializes in Agile Scrum methodology, Marketing Ops (MRM) application development, Android app development, SAAS & SOA application development, Offshore & Vendor team management. Also, he is knowledgeable and well-experienced in conducting business analysis, product development, team management and client relationship management.

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