Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we’re hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news items seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
The rise of Internet of Things and its growing pre-eminence in the world of IT, business, and commerce is not altogether surprising. In just the past 5 years or so technology has reached an inflection point in which social, mobile, analytic, and cloud (or SMAC) have advanced to the point of making ubiquitous computing possible. Smartphones and sensors and RFID chips are interconnected and integrated in ways never thought possible, giving users instant real-time updates on everything from home heating and cooling to car performance metrics to health fitness numbers.
Earlier this year Pew Research released its Digital Life in 2025 report which confirmed the same trends. The report declared that within 10 years the internet will become “an ambient information environment where accessing the Internet will be effortless and most people will tap into it so easily it will flow through their lives ‘like electricity.’”
What we’re witnessing is not so much the Internet of Things but rather the Internet of Everything. John Chambers, Cisco CEO, claims this space will have five to 10 times the impact on society as the Internet itself, and is projecting a $19 trillion dollar market for this industry over the next decade!
And if you watched the release of the Apple Watch last month then you witnessed a major leap forward for the Internet of Things. This new soon to be released $350 device is a perfect expression of the Internet of Things. As one writer has well stated, “iOS 8 is the hidden revolution in personal computing, pulling together smartphones and tablets with car infotainment centers, home automation devices, health and fitness devices, and Macs.” He goes on to say that Apple Watch “rejuvenates” the whole smartwatch concept and in the process creates a new kind of personal computing device. In other words, Apple has just created a “new dimension for the Internet of Things.”
It doesn’t take rocket science to see that PCs are shrinking and as they get smaller the Internet of Things gets bigger. We are barely over the idea of the smartphone as the “new PC” and now we’re already looking ahead to wearable technology as the “next big thing.” In case all these changes have your head-spinning, you’re not alone. But think of it this way: just as the smartphone was to Big Data, so the smartwatch will be to Internet of Things.
Make no mistake, Big Data will continue to get bigger. But it will do so in sync with the increasing Internet of Things market. In turn, the intersection of Big Data and Internet of Things will create new IT challenges in data storage, integration, and analytics. But these issues will only serve to create more robust systems and architectures to support the shrinking landscape and size of PCs.
The bottom line is this: Internet of Things + Big Data = Big Business! As the world becomes increasingly connected and as the internet indeed becomes more ‘like electricity’ in the years ahead, it’s incumbent that small business owners start to get plugged into the latest transformations.
If you haven’t done so yet, now would be a great time to fit Internet of Things into your organization’s 2020 strategy and start implementing clear and deliberate guidelines to leverage the latest trends in this fast-moving and exciting market. Internet of Things will become a key differentiator in the business world – faster than even mobile. IoT will set digital businesses today apart from the pack and make them thrive while others are merely trying to survive.