The Internet of Things is the next revolution that will not only transform the tech industry, but also the global market. As the Guardian reports, the Internet of Things (IoT) assumes various forms and functions, "ranging from the mundane to the
life-and death." The article continues to explain that the IoT can be almost anything including smart home appliances, space satellite systems, environmental monitoring systems, and even the pacemakers embedded in the human body! Yet beyond the many forms the IoT includes, its objective is surprisingly simple: to gather, collect, process, and store data without the old school human-to-human and human-to-computer interaction.
From Vision to Reality: The IoT
At its core, the Internet of Things is "just an environment that gathers information from multiple devices... and applications," wrote Galen Gruman, executive editor of InfoWorld. In this interconnected web he includes computers, vehicles, mobile telephones, traffic lights, social media (e.g., Twitter), e-commerce systems, and "almost anything with a sensor."
Recent market examples are the familiar thermostats and laundry washer/dryers that are now "smart," utilizing WiFi for remote control and monitoring. Because of the many possibilities in the Internet of Things, it is predicted to create an economic impact of $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion annually by 2025 by the McKinsey Global Institute.
The Internet of Things and You
So far, we have been discussing the theoretical aspects of the Internet of Things, but how will IoT affect you and your business? The field is wide open and customizable, so you don't have to limit yourself to the technology that is available now. Start by thinking about what are the things in your business that you could connect and gather data from.
For example, here at EnvisionIT Solutions, our things are the computers we support at our office and all our client sites. We put "agents" on all the servers and users' computers so that we can check on them remotely, but also we get informed of potential problems before they become big issues. However if we were landscapers, our things could be sensors that detect our clients' surroundings. Wouldn't it be cool if we got a message from our sprinkler system alerting us that a sprinkler head was broken? Our things could be on our fleet of vehicles or other equipment so that we could better utilize them. If we were manufacturers, we might want to include a chip that gathers periodic information on maintenance or extreme use conditions. It's someday in the future, but it's a realistic future that only takes planning.
The Internet of Things promises optimization and cost-saving for your data processing. By switching to data automation and control, IoT will save you from hiring a large research team to monitor and process consumer behaviors. Through tracking consumer behaviors and sending the newly acquired data back to your center, your company will enjoy real-time data and be able to predict future behaviors with greater accuracy. With a unique IP address assigned to virtually every natural or man-made object, IoT enhances the situational awareness of your niche, while keeping your marketing strategies on par with market demands. All in all, IoT provides you with instant data that can be immediately processed and analyzed to help you with your business planning, decision process, and marketing efforts.
The Internet of Things is The Internet of Everything
The IoT reduces the complexities, costs, and human resources that are often associated with data gathering and consumer behavior analysis. It will optimize key areas of your business through instant data processing, reliable autonomous systems, and sensor-driven decision analytics. As IoT evolves to overcome various business, policy, and technical challenges, the Internet of Things will truly be your friend to "empower your business and help you to gain a competitive edge by connecting data from devices and sensors with the cloud and business intelligence tools." Read more about The Internet of Your Things at Microsoft.com.