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Why 2015 Will Be the Year of the B2C Cloud By @KiraMakagon | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

The Internet of Things will create more data than we know what to do with – upwards of 1GB of data each week

The active number of devices connected to the Internet of Things was a considerable 2.5 billion in 2014 - and some analysts project this number will grow three times over, to 9 billion, in only four years. Gartner estimates we'll create an even higher number of connected devices: 26 billion units installed by 2020. You can't deny that the cloud will have to play a role in future infrastructure and storage for data for the massive number of connected devices, but are we ready to store and sift through this much data yet? And will we be ready by 2018?

While we've made great strides in developing and adopting consumer-facing cloud products like email and file storage, nothing compares to the consumer-facing role the cloud will play in supporting IoT in 2015 and beyond. This is why I think 2015 will be the year of business-to-consumer cloud.

Google has mastered business-to-consumer cloud on a small scale with Google Drive, but the Internet of Things will create more data than we know what to do with - upwards of 1GB of data each week. Device-generated data or large file-data like images and videos captured from smartphones and cameras can take up a lot of space. While sensor data, like log-file data, is very small in size, it requires a new infrastructure that enables instant, intelligent access.

All of this data - big and small - will need a place to be processed and stored. Unless consumers figure out how to fire up a Linux server at home, we'll need easy-to-use solutions. Storage solutions we use for businesses today must be made available at the consumer level. Access to storage capacity and solutions will make or break how smoothly the IoT movement progresses, and how willing consumers are to jump on board to track all data with devices.

We're already witnessing a shift toward distributed datacenters and the agile networks to support IoT. The more agile the network, the easier it will be to process and manage the influx of data. Software defined networking (SDN) will also play an important role in the management of data. We'll need SDN to intelligently route the data and process it without killing or slowing down the network.

Change for cloud infrastructure and storage to support Internet of Things data is on the horizon. We have a long way to go, as today's networks simply couldn't support 20 billion, or even 9 billion, connected devices. This year will be a pivotal year for cloud providers as they shift to create the underlying infrastructure we'll need for years to come. The future of how we access and use data from our personal devices depends on it.

More Stories By Kira Makagon

Kira Makagon is an enterprise software expert with vast experience in the cloud, mobile and adtech space. As EVP of Innovation at RingCentral, she spearheads product management, strategy, engineering and operations. Prior to RingCentral, she founded Red Aril, and co-founded or held executive positions at Octane Software and Scopus Technology.

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