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.

Business First - - CONTENTS -

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

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