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The ability to monitor and control the physical world through sensor-enabled devices has the potential to unlock major opportunities for revenue expansion.

This unified future is something we already see happening. Unified communications is uniting with other collaborative technologies to create workforce technology that is in constant communication with other devices and solutions.

It will not be long before other network-enabled devices begin interacting together.

As Ben Rossi of Information Age writes, “According to some estimates, by the end of the next decade one trillion objects could be connected to the Internet, generating anything between $1.2 trillion and $14.4 trillion in revenue.

The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) is rapidly progressing from an obscure concept known only by futurists and forward-looking developers to a key business strategy employed by the C-suite.

Exponential advancements in technology, fuelled by the internet, mobile computing, cloud platforms and an emerging class of small yet powerful processors, have combined with the plunging cost of electronics to create the next great online paradigm.

The IoT allows products, applications and services available through the Internet, to understand and control almost anything in the physical world through an online system of bidirectional sensors and actuators.

“Things” in the IoT realm can be pretty much any physical object – from a machine cutting metal in a warehouse to ECG sensors in your clothing.

We are entering an era where we can track and control just about anything centrally, as well as allowing these objects to communicate between themselves, influencing one another’s actions.

Regardless of whether you call it the Internet of Things, the Industrial Internet or the Internet of Everything, the promise of adding a sensory dimension to our digitally connected lives, locations and businesses has inspired visions for the future.

In the past, the IoT has struggled to move beyond initial stages within larger organisations as they have come up against a range of barriers. These obstacles range from lack of understanding about how to build the solutions end to end; the cost, time and expertise needed to build and manage unwieldy infrastructures, and the security knowledge to harden the solutions. 

However, over the past year, many of the barriers limiting growth have been overcome. The emergence of IoT platforms has removed many of the obstacles to producing connected products, accelerating time to market, and making the IoT a far more attractive proposition to investors who had previously been deterred by the time and money-intensive development process. As a result, there are seeing signs that the market is finally beginning to accelerate.”

This aligns with our belief that technology can change the world of work and connecting people (and now devices) together can have a profound effect on businesses. The Internet of Things might seem like a fledgling sector now, but we have little doubt that it will turn into a major business driver in the near future.