The Internet of Things (IoT) is a phrase still unknown to 80% of people, yet it is a reality that will change the world. It refers to devices that collect and transmit data through the Internet. According to a recent survey it is estimated that in the next 20 years, IoT investments and related jobs will contribute about $10 - $15 trillion to global GDP.
As consumers and users of the Internet we are used to experiencing the benefits of our connectedness by consciously getting online and browsing the web or by using our mobile apps. In that sense the Internet is something we actively look for and interact with. IoT will change this experience, as it will seamlessly connect things to the internet in a way that it will be invisible to us. In a recent study, experts speculated that by 2025 the internet will gradually become like electricity, nearly invisible to our lives.
Nearly all of the things we use daily such as beds, toilets, clothes, refrigerators, coffee machines, cars and almost anything we can imagine will be autonomously connected to the internet, constantly transmitting data, ready to be used by specialized software that will translate it to useful information. Examples of such devices are Nest thermostats and cameras, Samsung refrigerators and Tesla cars to name a few. It is the power of this information which IoT will make available that will change people’s lives, businesses, healthcare, transportation and all other aspects of our world.
Consider this fact: according to Cisco, IoT will be generating 400 Zettabytes of data every year by 2018 - 400 trillion Gigabytes. That is a lot of data and it will only grow exponentially with time and advancements in technology. As you can understand, IoT is directly related to Big Data and the Data Revolution we are now experiencing. IoT will provide endless possibilities for data collection and in turn that will create new products, services, businesses and jobs.
IoT is already relevant to all the industries that West Monroe is involved in. In fact, IoT is relevant to any industry. The two most relevant ones at this point in time are healthcare and energy and utilities. There are a multitude of new sensors and applications already in the market that will transform these industries with revolutionary new services and products. If our clients want to stay ahead of the game they need to invest in relevant technologies. This will create a multitude of new opportunities that our teams will be ready to explore.
There are existing in house proof-of-concept projects that we are experimenting within the Energy and Utilities industry, that tap into the power of IoT and Big Data Analytics. Staying ahead of the curve and exploring new ideas and applications that combine Analytics and IoT in ways that can benefit our clients is extremely important to our technology practice.
Healthcare is an area West Monroe is heavily involved in that needs massive improvement in many different aspects. Lowering healthcare costs is not just a matter of better insurance models and related laws. Some important underlying factors are managing costs and improving efficiency. IoT will provide healthcare professionals with valuable insights regarding individual patients’ biological metrics and markers. This information will transform the patient treatment model from reactive to predictive and preventive. This will have a ripple effect across the industry as patients will receive better treatments sooner, at early stages or even before diseases occur, slashing costs and improving lives.
Our technology teams have a vested interest to be involved in IoT projects and businesses as well in the related technologies involving Big Data and Cloud Computing. Clients that are aware of the importance and rise of the data economy will grow and thrive, while others will simply continue to exist. We as deep technologists can ensure that our clients are aware!