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So, it seems like I’m on a bit of an IoT kick as of late. Perhaps it’s just me settling in with the fact that my home now operates within an everything-IoT-connected scenario that makes it easier for me to order things online that I don’t need.

More so, it probably has to do with what IoT has to offer businesses of all kinds and how many articles I see on a daily basis that prove that IoT is taking over the world. For instance, just last year—yes, the last year that was two weeks ago—there were 26.66 billion active IoT devices worldwide. That unto itself is a staggering number. But here’s where it gets even crazier: by 2025, there will be 75 billion active devices across the globe.

So, with those staggering numbers alone, it’s clear to see that IoT is the driving force behind global business—consumer-focused and otherwise. And it’s the otherwise that is the most interesting.

With so many new devices being connected every day—127 every second to be exact—the implications for business are seemingly endless. And the reason is data. We all continually hear the mantra that data is the new gold standard, that data is the new economy, and that data is all things business intelligence–related and, yeah, I wholeheartedly believe that. In fact, I’m sure all of us do. But why?

Yes, data and business intelligence are huge, but to what degree? In this case, it’s actually fact—more than just reports, numbers, and analytics and the related business decisions that come from those. In reality, it’s more about ease of use and making the business run smoother—literally, less work, more benefit.

For example, look at even the simplest of business-related IoT systems, such as those that help manage facilities. Smoke detectors, cameras, thermostats—all the mundane things that most people just take for granted. But in the world of ubiquitous connectivity, those devices represent a degree of ease of use and ease of management that has never been seen until now.

Ease of management and its resulting data means significant benefits. For example, fewer impacts due to potential fires, thus lowering insurance costs; connectivity and hi-res video that mitigates the risk of criminal activity; and better management of heating and cooling, thus saving a massive amount of money. And that’s just the boring stuff.

Now, consider the same connectivity but in more so-called important business systems. Let’s use the temperature example. A simple sensor that can monitor and report on ambient moisture and temperature in a server room is no more technologically advanced than a household thermostat—in fact, it is probably less advanced—yet its implications are huge. That sensor could mitigate the risk of overheating mission-critical hardware and ensure that slow, but devastating, moisture damage is not in the cards, among other benefits—again, potentially saving millions in future IT expenditures.

Then there is the next step up: IoT sensors that manage everything from system health to flagging potential risks long before they happen, enabling techs to fix things well before they break and result in unscheduled downtime and subsequent profit loss.

So, is IoT the way of the future? It most definitely is. And with predictions showing that the global IoT market will hit $457 billion this year, I would say the world agrees with me.

So what does this all mean? It means that companies are embracing IoT in a way that helps them mitigate risk and lower unexpected expenses, all the while connecting with the customer on an entirely new level. Speaking of which, my smart home just notified me of yet another sale I should take advantage of—don’t judge me.