Orginally published May 2, 2018
The collection and analysis of data from sensor-equipped devices in order to achieve a business or organisational goal -- a.k.a. the Internet of Things -- is a key component in the wave of digital transformation underpinning the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Although the IoT has been discussed and analysed for many years (ZDNet's first special report on the subject was in January 2013), there's a widespread sense that the pieces are now falling into place for it to begin delivering real value for businesses of all kinds, and not just early adopters. Business value will flow from real-time information about operations, supply chains and customers, which (if analysed properly) should translate into lower costs and increased revenues. Better information about business processes should also lead to lower environmental impact and wiser investment decisions.
The scale of the upcoming IoT disruption was the subject of a white paper published in June 2017 by chip designer Arm. By 2035, according to Arm's analysis, the IoT's boost to global GDP will be $5 trillion, the annual spend on IoT hardware and services will be $1 trillion, the cumulative spend on IoT connectivity modules from 2017 will be $750 billion, and 1 trillion IoT devices will have been built since 2017.