The Internet of Things: The connecting of “dumb” items and the creation of big data

the internet of things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is ubiquitous.  Because of this it can seem abstruse. Puneet Mehta does a great job of putting the concept in layman’s terms:  “[A] plethora of “dumb” objects becom[ing] connected, sending signals to each other and alerts to our phones, and creating mounds of “little data” on all of us that will make marketers salivate.”

The mounds of data created by the advent of the IoT does not just make marketers salivate.  Gartner predicts that the IoT will add $1.9 trillion in value to the economy by 2020.  Looking ahead, Cisco estimates that the IoT will create over $14 trillion in value over the next 10 years.

In 2003 there were 500 million connected devices.  Cisco estimates that this number will increase to 50 billion by 2020.  Morgan Stanley believes this number will be higher – it estimates there will be 75 billion IoT devices by 2020.

“Dumb” objects are becoming connected; the physical and digital worlds are converging.  Mounds of data are being collected.

IoT and Big Data

Mukul Krishna, from Frost & Sullivan, presented a simple incremental view of the relationship between the IoT and big data.  In short, IoT devices can be thought of as data sources.  These data sources generate an incredible amount of data – much of which was previously not accessible. The information and insights from big data allow for better decision-making.

the IoT and big data

The amount of big data created each day in 2012 was 2.5 exabytes (2.5×1018).  In 2014 the amount of data were created each day was 2.3 zettabytes (2.3×1021),

An IDC forecast shows that the Big Data technology and services market will grow at a 27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $32.4 billion through 2017 – or at about six times the growth rate of the overall information and communication technology market.

The need for a plan

McKinsey & Company offer sage advice: put a plan in place.

The payoff from joining the big-data and advanced-analytics management revolution is no longer in doubt. The tally of successful case studies continues to build, reinforcing broader research suggesting that when companies inject data and analytics deep into their operations, they can deliver productivity and profit gains that are 5 to 6 percent higher than those of the competition.  The promised land of new data-driven businesses, greater transparency into how operations actually work, better predictions, and faster testing is alluring indeed.

But that doesn’t make it any easier to get from here to there.

So how does one get from here to there?

The answer, simply put, is to develop a plan. Literally. It may sound obvious, but in our experience, the missing step for most companies is spending the time required to create a simple plan for how data, analytics, frontline tools, and people come together to create business value. The power of a plan is that it provides a common language allowing senior executives, technology professionals, data scientists, and managers to discuss where the greatest returns will come from and, more important, to select the two or three places to get started.

What impact has the IoT and big data had on your company?  Does your company have a plan in place?