Dale Ford, Vice President of IHS Technology speaking at Wednesday's All Industry Breakfast at EDS 2014.

As the “leading provider of diverse global market and economic information”, IHS provides a fascinating perspective on EDS — the “premier annual event for the main players in the international electronics industry.” On Wednesday morning, Dale Ford, Vice President of IHS Technology, was on hand to discuss the state and future of the global electronics market.

Dale came to the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas armed with no shortage of facts, figures, and interesting tidbits. In a presentation titled “The Big Picture, Ideas, and Opportunities”, Dale provided a fascinating overview of the electronics industry and where he sees opportunities and market disrupters.

Valued at $1.9 trillion, the worldwide electronics industry represents 1-2% of the total global economy. But with the exception of energy, no other industry has a greater impact. Electronics touches “every other sector of the economy,” with a reach and influence that extends far beyond its market share.

This includes the consumer electronics sector, which is currently undergoing the “CE 3.0” transition. In 2011, the amount of unique information generated equaled a zetabyte, the equivalent of 200 billion DVDs.  Naturally, this explosion in original material is buoyed by a number of market enablers including smartphones, tablet PCs, wearable electronics, the “Internet of Everything” (IoE), the Cloud, smart homes, 3D printing, solid-state lighting, and more.

Dale provided some intriguing stats for each unique driver of the CE industry. Following the theme of “shrinking electronics”, 70% of all PCs by 2017 will fit the “ultrabook” category. And wearable technology will represent a $43 billon segment by 2018.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has given way to the Internet of Everything (IoE), which runs the gamut from connecting devices to creating unique value. Many IoT/IoE initiatives, of course, rely on significant infrastructure investments, which touches on socio-political issues that we won’t discuss here.

Dale seemed particularly enthused about the Cloud, which he deemed “the next big thing.” Indeed, the Cloud and IoT/IoE represent the future of the digitally connected world, and we could enjoy a time where electronic components literally inhabit and connect everything.

And in this scenario, the potential losers are the hardware-centric device OEMs without a cloud service strategy, though the natural process of technological innovation always seems to displace older technologies and the providers who support them, and this cycle should be embraced, not feared.

In looking toward the more distant future, smart cities and cloud computing could create 2.5 trillion in improved asset utilization. If you were paying attention, you know that this figure actually includes asset creation because it eclipses the total value of the electronics industry.

And in the even more distant future, we have such items as Project Loon, Amazon’s drone delivery service, and the various applications and unlimited potential of graphene.

“There are many areas of exciting innovation that will drive the market of the future,” Dale noted in a pre-interview with ECN. “Many of these developments will be key enablers of an interdependent ecosystem that will revolutionize every element of our lives from work to play to family, health, and more.”