Data – as intangible as it might seem – has fast become the world’s most valuable commodity. Tangible commodities like ‘black gold’ (oil) – think here of oil giants like Exxon Mobil, BP and Chevron – will be in decline given the environmentally justified push against fossil fuels. Stocks in computer hardware (think Apple, Lenovo, Dell, etc) and software (think Microsoft, Oracle and Adobe) have grown immeasurably over the last few decades, but as we approach saturation in some markets, growth is slowing.
That’s not an issue when we look at the current and projected growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), that rash of connected devices and technologies that’s set to be a major driver of what Klaus Schwab – the founder of the World Economic Forum – describes as the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. And for the data that’s stored on, and shared between, IoT devices and their respective software – some of it likely being your data – there’s no plateau in sight.
Below are some stand-out numbers that relate to ‘connected’, IoT devices that TechJury has collated from Statista:
- 44 billion – the number of IoT devices expected to be installed by 2025 worldwide
- 22 – the current average number of connected IoT devices per US household
- $1.6 trillion – projected end-user spending on IoT devices
- 4 zettabytes (= 79.4,000,000,000,000 Gigabytes) – the estimated amount of data that will be consumed by connected IoT devices in 2025.
The fact is, the global data revolution is well and truly here and continues to grow at warp speed. History books tell us over and again that as soon as a new commodity becomes highly valued, corruption, greed and exploitation will surface. Guaranteed.
It happened in North America in the late nineteenth century with the ‘gold rush’ – and it’s happening today in Africa with the same, still highly valued commodity, as well as with other minerals (notably lithium, manganese, nickel and cobalt) for electric vehicles.