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I’m a luddite, but I’m hungry for data – how does that work?!

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I need to make an ironic admission – I think I’m a modern luddite!


Why is this ironic? – because I work in IT, I always have, my friends and family see me as a ‘techie’ (I disagree), I like the odd gadget – I even co-founded a new IT company last year – but I feel behind the times…


I don’t know how this happened, whether it’s age, lack of appetite for some forms of innovation, fear of security threats, the distraction of my family and hobbies (a great reason!) – I’m not sure – but what I do know is that I’ve suddenly needed to sharpen up my act or I’ll be automatically retired from the digital age. [even my 10 year old son is quicker than me around the Le Mans circuit on Gran Turismo, so something has to change!]


prove you’re a luddite


A self-assessment of my digital (middle-aged, slowing) appetite…


I’m most comfortable using email and SMS.

I use LinkedIn, but probably not enough.

I infrequently browse Facebook, but definitely not enough (what an insight into the modern world it is!).

I don’t really use Twitter or WhatsApp properly, but know I ought to.

I don’t use Instagram, have never used Pinterest, and have little idea of what other ‘big things’ are coming, or going, in the world of social media.

I don’t use Siri, or Ok Google, and have no aspiration for a digital assistant in my home to turn on my lights, change the temperature to align with my mood or order my groceries (I’m a control freak, and I know what I want, ok!!!).


but…..I eat loads of data, and I only want more….


In order to do my job and help run a business, I need access to cloud services, my email, my collaboration tools (I must admit to love using Office365 / SfB).


In order to keep my domestic life in check, I’m always online doing banking, buying (and selling), streaming content (Spotify / Netflix / YouTube / catch-up TV), and just simply using data – I can only see this getting worse as I constantly force myself to detach from the matrix, to keep moderately healthy (bike…walk…run) then find myself scoffing more data the moment I ‘allow’ myself back into the matrix / online.


It seems I am on a proverbial data treadmill, we all are, and it ‘aint gonna change anytime soon. Hopefully, I may just be able to stay in touch with the digital age.


you want stats? here’s some predictions


Huawei recently published a great article on their vision of How ICT will shape the world in 2025. This sparked my interest to self-assess and write this particular blog piece – it gave me some comfort that, despite my self-categorised position of a modern luddite, there might be some digital life left in me yet.


Huawei are predicting that by 2025:-


  • Each person will own five smart devices, totalling 40 billion smart devices worldwide
  • Data consumption will grow to four gigabytes per person per day, with video accounting for 90% – that is equivalent to about one 1080p HD movie per day (per person!)
  • 77% of the global population – or 6.2 billion people – will be connected – connectivity will be a basic human right and a necessity for survival
  • Broadband networks will become basic household infrastructure, just like gas pipelines (I knew our company name was a cracker!)
  • In 2025, the amount of data generated and stored every second globally will be equivalent to 140 years’ worth of 1080p HD video


so what


Well, everyone (and many IoT ‘things’) will need access to data, and therefore a data network of some type; anywhere, everywhere, and all of the time. It might be wired, wireless or even delivered through the medium of light [what…data over light?!?…read about the ‘spectrum crunch’ and some of the great work being done by pureLiFi].


We will all be even more hungry for data in the future because we already live our lives by it. We feel we are already consuming a lot of data, but we might have only just scratched the surface.


data already seems to have established itself as one of life’s essential utilities


We know that the UK government are certainly trying to address some challenges through the superfast broadband campaign, but we still have a long way to go compared to other countries across the globe. Additionally, 5g could be with us domestically by 2020 – this is promising to further feed our data hunger with mobile networks that are even faster, reach further, and respond quicker than ever before.


However, one of my key considerations is this – will our overall infrastructure and associated technologies for data continue to evolve at a pace which supports our demand. i.e. If we do consume at the rate which Huawei are forecasting, will this all be easily met, or do we risk replicating something similar to what our UK road infrastructure is turning out to be….congested and not meeting ongoing increased demand….only time will tell.


For now, I’ll keep trying to stay up to date with emerging tech (in other words letting my kids educate me in this field), and I’ll get back to some secret Gran Turismo practice…


(Written by Chris Dickinson.)


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