Why the Internet of Things matters to your business by Chad Gates
One of the most significant trends that will shape business over the coming decade is the Internet of Things (IoT) writes Chad Gates.
You might already be familiar with this term. But if you’re not, it refers to the ability of ‘things’ such as cars, devices and machines to connect to the Internet. By giving objects the ability to link to the web, we’ll be able to gather rich information about how they are used and work, so we can use them more effectively.
According to research from IBM, nine billion devices are currently connected to the Internet; in 10 years time this is predicted to explode to 1 trillion devices. And, by the year 2020 the IoT market is expected to be valued at $7.1 trillion.
Examples include a vending machine that sends information back to a central office that lets managers know when it’s running low on an item so it can be refilled. In Dublin, IoT has been applied on a large scale to improve the public transport system. Buses and traffic lights are constantly connected to control the flow of bus traffic and ensure the shortest possible travel time for passengers.
Such innovations mark the evolution of intuitive technology, whereby the next phase of business technology involves providing workers with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network, without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Although the IoT is still very much in an embryonic stage, its applications are evolving rapidly into new areas and business models. For example, allowing people to “share” their internet tagged hardware with other people such