Earthquake early detection sensors warning people immediately via mobile devices and public loud speakers. Monitoring of water level variations in rivers, dams and reservoirs and supervision of the quality of tap water in cities. Traffic intelligence optimizing driving routes by showing warning messages and diversions according to climate conditions and unexpected events (like accidents or traffic jams). Real-time item location for traceability purposes and storage conditions along the supply chain. Smart Homes with energy consumption monitoring, lightning switches, security alarms, controlling of thermostats, fridges, washing machines, coffee makers and toasters. Location-based payment processing in shops, public transports, and theme parks. Patient surveillance by controlling their conditions not only inside hospitals but also remotely, in elderly homes.
All of these examples are “Internet of Things” (IoT) scenarios. While in the past, Information Technology (IT) had been driven mainly by people, clients and servers, it is different today: a nearly unlimited number of “things” like smartphones, watches, televisions, fridges, cars, traffic signals, planes, robots, solar panels, cement, and so many more, are becoming connected to each other. Hereby, organizations face big opportunities when they consider expanding their offerings into this IoT space, because the business potential is enormous: The Analyst firm Gartner estimated that “IoT will support total services spending of $69.5 billion in 2015 and $263 billion by 2020.” If this calculation is only rudimentary correct, IoT needs to be seen as a technology revolution which makes the physical world become truly digital.
The addressees of IoT offerings are widely-ranged: organizations, government institutions and households will buy and use IoT solutions. Hereby, the opportunities are many: There are and will be many IoT devices in place, available in many locations and for different service sectors. A good illustration these days comes from Beecham Research, an IoT consulting company. Please take a look at the following graphic (and consider that the content can be read much better when opened in a separate window):
This gives you a quite good overview, proving that there are many potential IoT scenarios where organizations can evolve in, and this is valid for nearly any industry.
But, it also has to be mentioned that as of today, many organizations have not taken advantage of these opportunities so far: IoT has not yet made the final move into the mainstream, because many firms still do not see its benefit yet, or often even don’t know what can be done with IoT. To help organizations become fit to approaching IoT, this article will give insights into the overall IoT background by analysing the current and future IoT technologies, the IoT vendor landscape, and especially will explain how organizations from different industries can adopt and benefit directly from the IoT rally.