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A phrase that has been on everyone’s mind in the last few months has been “the end of net neutrality.”  In case you might not know exactly what this ominous phrase means, it is simply the end of free internet.  Currently, with the exception of paid services and subscriptions, the internet is a free and open marketplace where you can browse anywhere you’d like, for free.  This means you pay your ISP to get internet and there’s no fee to access Facebook and no higher price to access national news outlets (as opposed to local new outlets).  The end of net neutrality many mean that the internet could soon become a very regulated and expensive experience for some. 

The end of net neutrality is a fairly new concept and even many experts can’t say for sure what the future may hold for this new internet environment but here are some ways that the end of net neutrality could impact ERP:

1. Less Connected Future

Some estimates believe that there will be 30 billion connected devices online by 2020 according to Network World*.  That’s a lot of time on the internet to say the least.  At Panorama, we are always promoting “Digital Transformation” within your facility which can make for easier, faster communication and better overall day-to-day functionality.  Some experts anticipate less connectivity in the future because some may not be able to afford to stay connected or some will opt out in frustration.   

2. Less Innovation

We live in an age where you can start a multi-million dollar company from your home by using the internet.  Many people across the world have created fantastic, innovative and truly awe-inspiring technology through humble start-ups.  With the end of net neutrality, many experts think that the internet may become a pay-for-content landscape, which would ultimately snub out those with small, inadequate budgets and could effectively create monopolies for some.  The end of net neutrality could damper innovation as smaller companies are pushed into the shadows.

3. Changes to AI and ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning software, especially cloud-based platforms, have opted to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their functionality.  This makes sense, especially in manufacturing or performance tracking, this technology could take a lot of guesswork out of operations and help to define clear and obvious patterns otherwise not seen.  AI comes from not just internal patterns, but ones which exist in similar markets and with the end of net neutrality this could alter those organically made patterns.

4. New Frontier

There’s always the possibility that the end of net neutrality could hold something beneficial for us after the dust and upset has cleared. No matter what happens in the future, the end of net neutrality signals a new era for anyone in the field of technology. This future, while unknown, could hold new innovation and opportunity that we just can’t see yet.   

*Gary Eastwood, 2017  “How the end of Net Neutrality will affect IoT” https://www.networkworld.com/article/3244251/net-neutrality/how-the-end-of-net-neutrality-will-affect-iot.html

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