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 reasons for its popularity are not hard to find. 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.
The ability to receive real-time awareness of our physical world and interact with that data through touch-based, wearable, and augmented reality are just some of the many ways that the Internet of Things will exert wide-ranging and disruptive impacts on all levels of business and society. In fact, current trends indicate that the Internet will not just pertain to random “things” but will literally be ubiquitous, or what some are calling 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.
If you watched the release of the Apple Watch last week then you witnessed a major leap forward for the Internet of Things. This new $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, which the smartphone had obviated, and in the process has created a new kind of 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.” Just as the smartphone was to Big Data, so the smartwatch will be to Internet of Things.
The intersection of Big Data and Internet of Things will in turn 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.
Everyone is talking about the Internet of Things. And for good reason! It’s becoming a huge and exciting new industry, rife with disruption and innovation. While IoT is still very much in its infancy, the preview of the Apple Watch shows the direction and the pace that the industry will take when those devices go on sale in early 2015.
Internet of Things will become a key market differentiator in the business world – faster than even mobile. If you haven’t done so yet, now would be a great time to fit Internet of Things into your 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 set digital businesses today apart from the pack and make them thrive while others are merely trying to survive.
It’s amazing to think what new advances and insights we’ll be talking about 5 years from now. What’s the next paradigm that will replace the Internet of Things as the next big thing? It’s anyone’s guess. But for now everyone is talking about the Internet of Things.