Economic growth depends on a connected world. The explosion of connected devices is projected to create as many as 34 billion connected devices and $1.2 trillion in economic activity by 2020. This will create growth opportunities in diverse sectors throughout the U.S. economy as mobile connectivity becomes more and more a part of everyday life.
Connectivity is being redefined through the so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT). The new, extended definition of connectivity refers to: 1) users connecting to smart devices to accomplish a task; 2) smart devices connecting with ordinary objects to deliver additional information, functionality, or value; and 3) smart software or smart devices connecting back with organizations to deliver insight on user behavior.
The Internet of Things (IoT), or Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology, is technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans. It will further speed up mobile opportunity and transform how people and our economy interact with the many tools of modern life.
Mobile actually made IoT possible, and the beginning of big data tools made it desirable. The Internet of Things is not really about things, but about data. Companies will soon have to determine how to manage mobile in its new IoT roles.
It is important for companies to reevaluate their cellular and WiFi networks to accommodate more devices, most of which will be simply tasked sensors. Each set of connected products has a different IoT platform attached to it so it will never get as simple as managing traditional mobile devices. There will be more network traffic, as well as the need for increased security and protection strategies. There are three critical ways mobile plugs into IoT for which IT must prepare:
- Apps designed to control things
- Data collection
- Apps designed to deliver big data analytics to the mobile user
Businesses who haven’t yet explored or utilized IoT will need to start conversations and seek out how to best manage the connected devices. Companies will also need to scope out the competition and outline a strategy of how connected devices will pertain to their specific business.