nest internet of things faz besharatian/Flickr

Replanteando la Internet de las cosas

SAN FRANCISCO – Hace casi 30 años, los economistas Robert Solow y Stephen Roach causaron una conmoción cuando señalaron que no había ninguna evidencia de que todos los miles de millones de dólares invertidos en tecnología de la información se hubiera traducido en una mayor productividad. Las empresas estaban comprando decenas de millones de computadoras cada año y Microsoft acabada de salir a bolsa, redituándole a Bill Gates sus primeros mil millones. Y, sin embargo, en lo que llegó a conocerse como la paradoja de la productividad, las estadísticas nacionales demostraban que no sólo el crecimiento de la productividad no se aceleraba sino que, en realidad, se estaba desacelerando. “Se puede ver la era de la informática en todas partes”, bromeó Solow, “menos en las estadísticas de productividad”.

Hoy, la sensación es que estamos en un momento histórico similar con una nueva innovación: la tan publicitada Internet de las cosas –la asociación de máquinas y objetos con redes digitales-. Sensores, gafetes y otros dispositivos conectados demuestran que el mundo físico ahora se puede digitalizar, monitorear, medir y optimizar. Como sucedió con las computadoras antes, las posibilidades parecen infinitas, las predicciones han sido extravagantes –y los datos todavía tienen que mostrar un incremento de la productividad-. Hace un año, la firma de investigación Gartner colocó a la Internet de las cosas en el pico de su ciclo de sobre-expectativas de las tecnologías emergentes.

En tanto se esgrimen más y más dudas sobre la revolución de productividad generada por la Internet de las cosas, vale la pena recordar lo que sucedió cuando Solow y Roach identificaron la paradoja de la productividad informática original. Por empezar, es importante observar que los líderes empresariales ignoraron, en gran medida, la paradoja de la productividad e insistieron en que detectaban mejoras en la calidad y velocidad de las operaciones y la toma de decisiones. La inversión en tecnología de la información y de comunicaciones siguió creciendo, a pesar de que no hubiera una prueba macroeconómica de sus retornos.

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