Internet of everything
Internet of everything

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1.1.1 Evolution of the internet

You may not have realised that the evolution of the internet has witnessed four distinct phases. Each phase has a more profound effect on business and society than the phase before. This course offers a combination of phases one, two and three to simply explain phase four.

Table 1 Four phases of the internet
Phase 1 Phase 2Phase 3Phase 4
ConnectivityNetworked economyCollaborative experiencesInternet of everything
Digitise access to informationDigitise business processDigitise interactions (business and social)Digitise the world, connecting
  • email
  • web browser
  • search
  • e-commerce
  • digital supply chain
  • collaboration
  • social
  • mobility
  • cloud
  • video
  • people
  • process
  • data
  • things
The first phase started over 20 years ago and is referred to as 'connectivity'. Email, web browsing and searching for content was just beginning.The second phase started in the late 1990s and was the 'networked economy' phase. This was the birth of e-commerce and digitally connected supply chains. It changed the way we shopped and how companies reached new markets.The third phase started in the early 2000s and is known as the 'collaborative experiences' phase. This phase is dominated by widespread use of social media, mobility, video, and Cloud computing. This phase completely transformed the world of work.The current phase is called the 'internet of everything (IoE)'. This phase connects people, processes, data, and things, turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities.

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