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The Internet of Things, or The Internet of Everything

We are hearing more and more about the Internet of Things (IoT).

The rapid growth of the IoT, along with the explosion of Big Data, cloud and mobile applications, is forever changing our information landscape and in realtime. As it continues to grow and connect things, it’s important to emphasize that as more things, people and data become connected, the power of the Internet grows exponentially.

A little history might be in order. Going back some 30 years, there were just 1,000 connections to the Internet throughout the world. Today, with the help of app-centric infrastructure, sensors and mobile devices, there are about 13 billion connections, and this is still just one percent of what’s possible. The economic opportunity to connect the unconnected totals $19 trillion.

In just six years, we expect 50 billion things to be connected to the Internet, which will still be just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

insight 2014 internet connectionsWe know that data is doubling every two years, and according to IDC the digital universe will expand to 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, annually by 2020. That’s even more staggering when you consider that today, 90 percent of data is dark — it is only viewed once or not at all. This is another reason to filter the data being collected before applying a Big Data tool.

According to a recent survey and study done by Pew Research Internet Project, a large majority of the technology experts and engaged Internet users who responded — 83 percent — agreed with the notion that the Internet/Cloud of Things and embedded and wearable computing will have widespread and beneficial effects by 2025. Cisco created a dynamic a “connections counter” to track the estimated number of connected things from July 2013 until July 2020. This concept, where devices connect to the Internet/ web via low-power radio, is the most active research area in IoT. The low-power radios do not need to use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Lower-power and lower-cost alternatives are being explored under the category of Chirp Networks.

This explosion of data and apps — when properly optimized — presents unprecedented opportunities to better manage resources and improve quality of life. By embracing the Internet of Everything (IoE), another term being used, businesses across the globe can lead the way toward a more sustainable world. The question business leaders need to ask themselves is “Will our business be a leader or a follower?” Selecting the right technology partners early could determine the difference.

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