What’s After IoT?

GettyImages_481415267The Internet of Things is set to become 2015’s proverbial dead horse in the media, after Big Data’s thorough enough “beating” in 2014. Previous to Big Data, we’ve had Cloud, SaaS, and gamification, among others. Each have had their place in business, some less important than others, but their time in the media spotlight has taken a chronological back seat to what is “next” in tech.

So what’s after IoT? I think to figure out what we all will be talking about for the next 12-18 months, we should consider what the Internet of Things means for the future. First, let’s get clear on a couple things: the Internet of Things has been happening for a long time. Connected mobile devices, creating and passing data, either actively or passively, is not new. We just haven’t been ready for the amount of data we would be compressing, nor did we have the infrastructure in place to manage the transfer of that data. Now that we do, the Internet of Things deserves a real shot. Gartner is predicting that the Internet of Things will include 26 billion connected devices by 2020, and Cisco forecasts $19 trillion in economic value over the next decade.

After a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in Big Data and IOT in the last couple years, it seems we are ripe for a new industry buzzword that promises to be the next multi-billion dollar industry.  According to 451 Research, “Acquirers spent $14 billion to acquire more than 60 ‘Internet of Things’-related companies in 2014.”

The idea of all things being connected and sending/receiving relevant data to enrich people’s lives, and educate businesses does have an exciting future. Creating an environment where all things are connected, including wearables, home appliances, and even cars, for consumer or business feedback is the future.

The inherent problem with software and devices is they don’t communicate well with other software and devices. The Internet of Things breaks down as soon as a device is introduced that isn’t compatible with all the other devices in its environment.

The next thing in tech should be built on IoT, something along the lines of the Communication of Things. It isn’t enough that devices are capturing data; It’s more compelling to create a network of all devices providing consumable data in a usable way. Beneficial information actually enriching consumer lives, driving business costs down, effectively improving marketing efforts, and utilizing the endless treasure troves of data. After that…security of things!