If someone were to mention the Internet of Things, would you:
a) Nod sagely and add your opinions about IoT?
b) Fake it and hope you figure out what it actually is?
c) Admit you really don’t understand what the IoT is?
If your answer is c), you’re not alone. Almost 90% of consumers hadn’t heard of the Internet of Things, according to Accenture in 2014. And almost 40% of business and government professionals had no knowledge or vague familiarity with it.
Meanwhile, the Internet of Things has been named the #1 tech trend for 2017 by Fortune magazine, Forbes magazine and CNBC, to name just a few.
Here’s a quick primer to get you up to speed so you can nod sagely and add your opinions the next time IoT comes up in a conversation (and it will be soon!).
- The Internet of Things involves smart devices. A more complete definition is: computing devices embedded in everyday objects that are connected to the Internet, allowing them to send and receive data. These are often referred to as wireless, mobile or digital technologies. The smartwatch that monitors your heartrate and sends reports to your phone is part of the IoT. So is the hydro meter at your house and the device that remotely controls a truck-mounted crane on a construction site.
- The IoT is experiencing explosive growth. There will be 34 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020 (up from 10 billion in 2015), according to a Business Insider article. IoT devices will account for 24 billion of these devices. Nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT devices over the next five years.
- The IoT can save your business time and money. Big time. The primary benefits of the IoT are lowering operating costs, increasing productivity and expanding to new markets or product offerings.
- But digital transformation isn’t easy. While the benefits of the IoT are clear, there are challenges with security, change management and finding skilled talent to work on IoT projects. Like any rapidly emerging field, the IoT community is sharing best practices as they evolve.
- You ignore the IoT at your peril. Every industry is investing in the IoT. Think of it as a rocket – do you want to join the ride or get left behind?
Find out more about the latest trends, case studies and best practices at the Wavefront 2017 IoT Summit, May 1-2 in Toronto, ON. We’re bringing together thought leaders, enterprises that are successfully adopting digital technologies and IoT solutions providers. Join us at the leading Canadian forum for enterprise IoT.