The Internet of Things revolution is here.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? It’s basically connecting something that’s not a computer so it can communicate with a network. It could be your refrigerator, your car, your parking space, or your shoe. Pretty much anything can now be connected to a network to gather data and give users remote control.
It’s still early in the lifecycle of the Internet of Things, but it’s clear that adoption is coming. Look at the popularity of connected devices like Nest thermostats and of wearables like the Fitbit.
These applications of IoT technology are only the beginning. Over the next 12-24 months, many more uses for connected devices will hit the market and gain acceptance.
That’s what the Internet of Things is. But why does it matter for your business? Here are two big reasons.
Why IoT Matters: User Expectations
Much as the smartphone completely transformed user behavior and expectation in the last 8-10 years, connected devices and wearables will change the way people live and interact with products.
This means your users will expect just about every device to connect. If you don’t connect, you can expect to lose customers and market share.
You’ll be a Blackberry in an iPhone world.
Of course, being connected isn’t going to be enough. Your device needs to work well for users. Otherwise you’ll quickly be gone from the market.
You’ll be Google Glass in a Fitbit world.
User expectations will change as a result of the Internet of Things boom. It’s inevitable. This means your business needs to find smart, strategic ways to change as well.
Why You Should Care: Revenue
The revenue opportunities with the Internet of Things are huge.
A Harbor Research project predicts that by 2020, there will be more than 8 million connected devices (four times the number today).
The same research suggests that the revenue produced by IoT devices is already $180 billion, and that it will surpass $1 trillion by 2020.
Too many companies were caught flat-footed by the rise of the internet back in the 1990s, or last decade by the rise of mobile devices. You can’t afford to get left behind for this revolution either.
Whether you’re looking to market a connected device now, wondering how the Internet of Things can improve your efficiency, or considering an IoT solution down the road, now is the time to make sure your business and your technology stack are prepared for the changes the Internet of Things will bring.
Our next post will discuss how your business can start preparing now for the Internet of Things revolution—whether you have a specific application in mind yet or not.