Certification Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Certification Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Certification Survey data.
The Internet of Things is big. And it's getting bigger every day. There are, according to market research firm Statista, more than 13 billion distinct devices connected to the internet. Not only that, but the boom is on — to the extent that Statista estimates that there will be almost 30 billion connected devices by 2030.
So there are already a massive amount of devices that send and receive data via the web, so much so that the number is almost beyond comprehension. Honestly, have you ever tried visualize even a billion of anything? Let alone 30 billion? What does it mean, in practical terms, that there are about to five or six times as many internet-enabled devices as there are human beings on Earth?
There are elements of a central plan in place: Each new device that rolls off the factory floor is assigned a UID, or unique identifier, a numeric or alphanumeric code that is solely assigned to that single device. There are various gradations used to further classify Internet of Things devices by their functionality, capability, componentry, intended use, and so forth.
Yet, like the internet itself, the internet of things is already spread across various geographic boundaries and legal jurisdictions. It already encompasses devices from a vast range of manufacturers, with almost innumerably various applications and functions. We don't even always agree about the terminology used to discuss the Internet of Things.
Given the speed at which the Internet of Things is growing, then, and the constantly shifting array of forces that contribute to that growth, it seems appropriate to ask both a) how long everyone can just keep adding tiny pieces to the gigantic whole, and b) is there a point at which we overload the existing system and parts of it come crashing down around our collective heads?
Since we recently had a number of certified computer networking professionals on the line during our Computer Networking Certification Survey, we decided to gauge whether such concerns are needlessly overstating the problem. Is questioning the existing arrangement much ado about nothing, or is there reason to think seriously about looming challenges
Here's what we learned:
Q: How concerned are you about the long-term sustainability of the Internet of Things?
Very Concerned — 32.5 percent
Concerned — 27.5 percent
Somewhat Concerned — 26.3 percent
Not Concerned — 13.7 percent
Q: How concerned are you about the long-term stability of the Internet of Things?
Very Concerned — 31.3 percent
Concerned — 27.5 percent
Somewhat Concerned — 30 percent
Not Concerned — 11.2 percent
There's a substantial cohort of the certified professionals who responded to the survey who clearly view this aspect of the Internet of Things with alarm. Roughly one-third are very concerned about the long-term sustainability of the Internet of Things, and nearly as many are very concerned about its long-term stability.
That's just the individuals, of course, who probably lose at least a little sleep each year worrying about the problem. More than half of respondents are either concerned (27.5 percent) or somewhat concerned (26.3 percent) about the long-term sustainability of the Internet of Things, while close to 60 percent of respondents are either concerned (27.5 percent) or somewhat concerned (30 percent) about its long-term stability.
Society, in other words, has another looming infrastructure crisis to confront. There are a limited number of times, it would seem, that we can kick the can down the road before getting to the end of the line.