“I’m going to watch a movie now,” I said to my digital home assistant. It chirped pleasantly, and the room began to change. The lights dimmed, the blinds closed, and my surround sound kicked on. I still had to make the popcorn, but that’s about it.
Just moments before I had a chance to regret watching ‘Veronica’ alone, I thought to myself “gee, thanks, internet.” But what was I really thanking?
To be specific, I was rejoicing the miracle of “The Internet of Things” – the network of all devices connected to the internet, a term coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999. Your car, phone, laptop, appliances, televisions, vending machines, jet engines, Alexa, are all part of The Internet of Things.
Gartner Research estimates 20-30 billion internet-connected things by 2020, with a market value of 7.1 trillion. That’s 71 followed by 8 more digits. To put that in perspective, the GDP of China in 2016 was 11.2 trillion.
The Internet of Things really started with the implementation of RFID tags – small ID systems that use radio for tracking purposes. Later, the industry included widespread surveillance, security, healthcare, and document management. Things that used to require manual supervision have begun to become more autonomous and easily managed. The Internet of Things is now gearing towards telepresence, and the ability to monitor and control distant objects.
Whoa. What does this mean for my business intelligence team?
Economically speaking, many enterprises will become more digitally-aligned businesses and will undergo changes to accommodate more digitally-rooted business models. IT will begin to become a high priority. This is not happening yet, as IT leaders are still generally focusing on projects at a functionality level. As you may have guessed, this means even more IT jobs, as well as other rapidly-growing fields, like data analytics and business intelligence.
The internet of things is projected to encode 50 to 100 trillion objects, and will be able to follow the movement of these objects. Human beings surveyed in urban environments are each surrounded by 1000-5000 trackable objects. This will yield amazing results for logistical coordination. As the element of human interaction is further removed, we’ll see revolutionary solutions in replacing the space-time contextual data that we take for granted. The same way standards have played an integral role in the internet, geospatial standards will play an integral role in the internet of things.
What can you do to prepare for this gigantic new IT wave? Brush up on your business intelligence skills, or buff your business intelligence department. Data analytics and data-driven businesses are coming, and they’re going to be here to stay. Also, Chief Data Officers are going to become far more commonplace. You can read Gartner’s awesome article about it here. For those of us outside the IT industry, you can kick back, relax, and rest assured that your user experiences are about to get a whole lot easier.
Written by Jack Virag