Gartner are predicting by 2020 the Internet of Things will create an additional $1.9 trillion for the economy. The Internet of Things is the eventual merging of the explosion of smart devices, from smartphones through to sensors within a kitchen fridge, and the connectivity of the Internet. As the cost of connecting devices decreases and the ubiquity of an Internet connection increases the number of connected “things” shall continue to rise to, as Gartner predicts to hit 30 billion connected “things” by 2020. Cisco go further, calculating that by 2020, the Internet of Everything as they coin it, shall consist of 50 billion devices.

(Source: Cisco)

The beginnings of the Internet of Things can be seen clearer by the moment. Wearable technology today can still be said to be seen as quite a novel idea, like the recently released Samsung Galaxy Gear watch or the upcoming Google Glass, yet the concept of wearable technology continues to gain steam. Coupled with the continued rise in the use of cloud computing, the ability for these connected devices to be used to do business on, will mean network administrators will have to adapt and keep check on their networks.

Earlier in the year we, ran a survey looking into cloud computing, and with it we found that nearly 50% of respondents were investing into the private cloud and a third were investing into mobile and tablet technology, a signal that respondents foresee investment into these business areas important as they continue to move forward.

The increasing number of devices to a network brings with a host of issues, from scalability to security. Bring your own device has changed the way that employers need to deal with the devices that employees use on their networks. The Internet of Things is only going to continue to put pressure on employers to monitor and keep control their corporate networks.

There may be a few hitches still on the road to the vision that Cisco and Gartner have of the Internet of Things, standards being a crucial one. With vendors across the board sporting different technologies it is important that a unified approach is taken to the development of Internet of Things technical standards. The Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative aims to bring together service providers and technology vendors to enable the technology to go as far as possible. Open source plays a role in this space to increase interoperability and transparency between developers across the board.

The shift in mobile devices and connectivity that has been witnessed in recent years is testament to the continued expansion of technology, the Internet of Things is still in its infancy yet the potential it has is all too clear and being aware of the changes afoot is key to mitigating the impact it may have on businesses.