The exact number of “things” connecting to the Internet has been the subject of predictions for some time now. Research giant Gartner suggests 20.8 billion devices will connect by 2020 while Cisco and Frost & Sullivan agree that number is more like 50 billion.
The potential revenue stream of IoT is also subject to a lively debate. IDC predicts IoT spending will reach nearly $1.3 trillion in 2015 while Business Insider believes $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions in the next five years. In yet another generous guestimate, Cisco says the technologies and their associated services will create $14.4 trillion for companies by 2022. (Business Insider says $600 billion by 2019 while IDC believes revenue will exceed $7 trillion by 2020.) We think it’s like asking the value that the Internet brings to business worldwide: it’s something you could potentially estimate, but it’s also kind of missing the point.
The fact of the matter is that the Internet of Things is coming — and so is the buzz surrounding its potential. Sensors gonna sense. Sure, doing nothing is an option, but it will greatly hinder a company’s chances of gaining from the phenomena (to throw another stat in here, Verizon predicts organizations that use IoT technologies will become at least 10% more profitable by 2025.)
That brings us to what the Internet of Things is really about.
However cool and helpful the technologies, apps and gizmos may be, the Internet of Things at its core is not the cup that tells you how hydrated you are or the app that reminds you to take your daily medications.
The Internet of Things is about embracing technology to do things smarter, better and overall more efficiently. It’s about new and emerging technologies as well as innovative ways to use data collected by smart things. It’s about changing industries, companies and people’s lives for the better, improving user experience and learning in ways one never thought possible before. It’s about solving problems, saving money, changing the world.