The Real Power of IoT is in the (Big) Data

It’s often said by folks who know about the Internet of Things (IoT) that within the next 5 years or so, 50 billion devices (give or take) will be connected to one another through the Internet. Generally speaking many believe that these devices will open up a world of innovation and creativity driving new solutions in smart cities, energy production, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare, to name a few industry sectors.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 5.05.18 PM

 Infographic developed by Intel. See

What is sometimes left out of the conversation, however, is the potentially more life-altering impact that the data created by all these devices will have on everyday life. Enter “Big Data,”  the enormous amount of information that will be generated by those billions of connected devices in our cars, our homes, our factories and our cities.

This nexus was recently made crystal clear in Howard Baldwin’s  Forbes article that discussed Big Data analytics and the value of the same in the IoT:

“…[O]nce the Internet of Things gets rolling, stand back. We’re going to have data spewing at us from all directions – from appliances, from machinery, from train tracks, from shipping containers, from power stations…” 

Forbes IoT and Big DataCiting Drew Robb in his Enterprise Apps Today article, How IoT Will Change Big Data Analytics, Baldwin said that, by way of example, “Duke Energy’s Emerging Technology office is thinking about how to take advantage of communication from buildings, vehicles, people, power plants, and smart meters.”

According to Baldwin, “As one of Robb’s sources noted, “Every enterprise needs to factor in how the Internet of Things is going to affect them and their business, and must respond by establishing the right infrastructure to support this level of Big Data and analytics. If they don’t, they will fall behind.””

There will undoubtedly be thousands of companies who figure out how to add connectivity to their devices. The real prizes, however, will go to those who understand how to successfully harness and analyze the big data created by those devices, making possible previously unimagined ways of doing things and living our lives. Now  is the time to begin that journey.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *