Smart cars, smart factories, connected healthcare – you’ve heard businesses toss about these terms over the last few years. But what are they referring to? Simply put, “smart” and “connected” refer to the Internet of Things (IoT.)
The ever-increasing number of connected devices is opening up new business models and new opportunities for both tech vendors and end users; as a result, IoT is becoming an essential cornerstone of the business technology agenda. – Forrester
What makes up the Internet of Things?
Nearly everything in the world can be considered a “thing” in IoT.
An IoT device is any standalone internet-connected device that can be monitored and/or controlled from a remote location. Sensors (IoT devices) gather data. A wide variety of sensors measure limitless amounts of data such as temperature, vibration, force, pressure, weight, sound, acceleration, tilt, angle, optical, ambient light, electric, magnetic, flow, position, proximity, motion, velocity, humidity, movement, emotion, and presence.
All of the data collected by devices feeds into an IoT ecosystem, which are “all the components that enable businesses, governments, and consumers to connect their IoT devices, including remotes, dashboards, networks, gateways, analytics, data storage, and security.” 1
Where’s the opportunity with IoT?
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Organizations across industries are investing in IoT to improve business processes, minimize risks, and enhance customer experiences. Analysts are forecasting that companies will invest $4.8 trillion in the IoT over the next five years. The growth of IoT devices is projected to skyrocket to 22.5 billion by 2021, up from 6.6 billion in 2016.2
The market opportunity for IoT continues to grow. However, there’s more to it than installing sensors on products or equipment and calling it “smart.” Complete IoT solutions need a supporting environment for data analysis, software applications to track/report data, and applications to track active or passive trigger events.
Bottom line – your business won’t benefit from IoT solutions unless you’re thoughtful about the purpose and role they play.
Learn more in our guide The Why, What, and How of IoT: 50+ Examples Across 11 Industries. It explores applications of IoT solutions across 11 major industries, reveals a strategic process to implement IoT, and covers 5 considerations for embracing IoT solutions.
1 “What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?” Business Insider
2 “The Internet of Things 2017 Report: How the IoT is improving lives to change the world,” Business Insider