IoT, or the Internet of Things, refers to the expanding network of devices connected to the internet that are sending and receiving data without any direct human involvement. Broadly speaking, these devices include sensors, smartphones, consumer appliances and smartwatches.
The IoT market is growing exponentially and has already reached a market size of $157 billion. Gartner predicts that by 2020, our world will be filled with over 26 billion devices connected to the Internet, most of which would essentially be tiny computers interacting with us and surrounding environments.
This wide network is expected to revolutionize everything from smart homes to factory automation, collecting and analyzing huge volumes of data that can then be utilized to improve quality of life and operational efficiency.
7 Facts About the IoT
Here are some interesting IoT facts:
- The number of connected devices in the world will surpass 40 billion by 2020, more than twice the current number.
- Cisco predicts that roughly $14.4 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next decade.
- IHS produced a report predicting that the car industry will account for over half of IoT expenditure during this time period.
- Gartner predicts that there will be nearly 21 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, up from around 5 billion in 2009.
- In 2016 alone, IBM expects as many as 500 consumer products to contain some form of IoT technology.
- Gartner estimates that by 2020, there will be 200 million vehicles connected to the Internet, resulting in $450 billion worth of additional revenue for automakers.
- The healthcare industry is expected to see expenditures related to IoT top more than $60 billion worldwide by 2018.
The Essence of the IoT
Every industry is looking for ways to improve work efficiencies whether by improving customer service or upping production have been a key focus point in the business world.
“If you’re not operating at [the] speed of your customer, you shouldn’t be in business,” said Dave McCarthy, Vice President of IoT at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “It’s all about bringing speed, agility and innovation to your business.”
The Internet of Things or IoT is a type of internet connectivity that has the ability to collect data from devices. This term specifically refers to interactions between physical objects with electronic, software, or mechanical components that enable these objects to connect and exchange data. With the increased amount of advanced technology, almost anything can be connected to the internet.
“IoT is bringing in a revolution that will change how we live, work and interact with our surroundings,” said McCarthy. “Once these objects are connected, businesses will have access to data they didn’t know existed.”
These devices include smartwatches, thermostats, cars, manufacturing equipment, drones, fitness trackers and other devices found in the everyday life of a consumer.
IoT and the Market
In recent years IoT has been implemented across many industries to improve efficiencies and reduce downtime. In all business sectors, speed is key to gaining a competitive advantage. Smart manufacturing can provide factory owners with real-time sensors that monitor production levels and order parts before they run out. Retailers can offer consumers personalized shopping experiences or implement technology that provides real-time order fulfilment methods. In the transportation industry, IoT allows for remote tracking of fleet vehicles and smart traffic signals that decrease commute times.
“IoT is a term used to describe connectivity between objects,” McCarthy said. “These interactions include data sharing, remote control and automation.”
For business owners looking to improve their company’s bottom line, IoT has the ability to increase productivity.
As with many new technologies, early adopters of this technology often experience faster growth in sales and revenue. “When you start really changing your business around IoT technologies, things that were previously impossible become possible,” McCarthy said.
With the increased connectivity of devices, there are increased risks to businesses. Hackers are always looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems to steal data or corrupt networks. When implementing IoT technology, it’s important that businesses take steps to make their systems more secure by using strong passwords and encrypting information transmitted across networks.
“As long as you take the right steps, IoT can dramatically improve your business,” McCarthy said. “You just need to make sure you’re protected.”
To remain competitive in today’s economy businesses need to focus on their areas of core competency and innovate around these key areas. At Verizon Enterprise Solutions, we understand that speed is one of the key competitive advantages so we have created a network that can get data from your business to our cloud and back again in seconds. With this capability, IoT technologies allow businesses the ability to achieve faster levels of innovation and creativity.
“IoT provides companies with the opportunity to innovate,” McCarthy said. “It’s all about creating new technology that brings new services to the market faster.”