The Internet of Things describes all the objects in the world with machine-readable identifiers.
Previously, data from these often miniscule devices was only available to large businesses with the finances and foresight to want it. Now this information is more prevalent on the cloud and will allow small and medium-size businesses to level the playing field.
The Internet of Things is a technological trend that will help cloud analytics offer business intelligence regarding how people use devices, much like how Google and Facebook supply vital information on where people go to shop and play.
Things Outnumber People on the Internet
While the Internet of Things isn’t a new concept, it has been growing rapidly as technology improves; more devices are connected to intranets and the Internet via RFID, QR codes, sensors, and smartphone apps.
Six years ago, there were already more objects connected to the Internet than the human global population. Cisco predicts that by 2020 the number of things communicating with the Internet will be almost 50 billion.
Information Super Highway
All of these connections mean more data. Frost & Sullivan predicts that in 2014 devices will generate more information on the Internet than people.
And this information offers another source for companies to determine emerging trends, create value, and maintain competitive advantage. The data will be delivered in real time, and can offer analysts the ability to help companies stay ahead of market changes.
Areas Where the Internet of Things Matters
The Internet of Things assists many disciplines other than sales and product development. Businesses have been using the information generated to help in these areas:
In fact, data generated from placing sensors on railroad tracks helped Union Pacific decrease train derailments by 75%.
Why the Cloud is Essential
Ginormous amounts of data from all these connected devices need to be stored, sorted, and crunched. The amount of data now on the Internet due to this technological trend is 2.8 zettabytes, or 2 billion terabytes.
Most business systems aren’t capable of managing this amount of data, and the cloud is the most reasonable solution to this problem. The cloud allows businesses to store the data and deploy applications that will sort and analyze it as needed. This data can be shared across departments and allow for companies to be focused and make unified business decisions.
Analysts Need to Focus in 2014
These large data sets will offer multiple opportunities for analysts this year. The problem will be narrowing these sets down and not becoming enamored by “shiny object syndrome.”
The ability to create specific questions and sort through the data for answers will become a main requirement for software applications and analysts for 2014 and beyond.