The IoT is a global system of IP-connected sensors, actuators, networks, machines and devices, made possible by the development and proliferation of Internet Protocol (IP) addressable devices connected to the Web. It represents a dramatic leap in the Internet’s development, as connections move beyond conventional computers, routers and servers, to devices that power everything from parking meters and home thermostats, to personal wellness monitors.
The opportunity that the IoT presents for organizations across the value chain is immense. Networking vendor Cisco Systems, Inc. predicts that by 2020, there will be nearly 50 billion Internet addressable and aware devices – a $14.4 trillion business opportunity. A recent GE and World Bank study predicts that the opportunity could be as big as $32 trillion, or 46% of the size of global economy today. This, in turn, will drive the next wave of growth across all industry segments including high-tech.
The IoT is of particular interest to high-tech companies, since many are both producers and consumers of IoT products and services. Market leaders will harness the IoT to either increase sales by delivering more personalized and curated offerings, or decrease input costs by optimizing operations, or both.