Your Competitors are Doubling Down on IoT: What You Need to Know So You Don’t Get Left Behind: Part 1 of 3

This is part one of a three-part series discussing a concept you may not be entirely familiar with yet: The Internet of Things (IoT). You may not know it yet, but many of your competitors are jumping into the deep end of the IoT pool and our report is a bell warning that you and your company should take a hard look at this technology evolution. Whether you are a large company or a small business, IoT has a place in your organization.

What’s the Latest Buzz on IoT

Gartner, the eminent research firm, indicates that the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) will be massive. To be specific, the number crunchers at Gartner have calculated that 6.4 Billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016. That is up 30% from 2015. Gartner also estimates that the number of connected devices will continue to rise to 20.8 billion by 2020.

That is a conservative estimate compared to Business Insider, which projects 34 billion devices by 2020. Cisco Systems and Intel are expecting the number of connected devices, systems, and sensors worldwide to grow to more than 50 billion by 2020.

No matter whose number you go with, there is no denying that IoT is real and coming on strong in the near future.

Estimated Internet-Connected Device Installed Base

IoT devices include any stand-alone internet-connected device that can be either monitored and/or controlled from a remote location. These devices will account for the lion’s share of total connected devices, with the installed base growing from 4.2 billion in 2015 to 24 billion in 2020 — 73% of the total internet-connected base. Remote devices enable entities that utilize IoT devices to connect with and control them using a dashboard, such as a mobile application. They include smartphones, tablets, PCs, smartwatches, connected TVs, and nontraditional remotes, such as the Amazon Echo. We estimate there will be nearly 10 billion remotes installed worldwide by 2020, up from 5.6 billion in 2015.

Who is Onboarding IoT?

GE is going all in on anything digital and IoT. They are even moving their long held headquarters (123 years) from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts, which is considered the number two tech capital of the world, with MIT, Harvard, and a number of other enterprises and startups focused on IoT. Plus, GE is also establishing a major headquarters in the world’s number one tech capital, Silicon Valley, with intentions to become one of the world’s top ten software companies.

One of GE’s larger units is GE Healthcare, located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. GE Healthcare designs, develops, and manufactures medical imaging machines, such as CAT scanners, X-Ray machines, machines for information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, and more.

CEO Jeff Immelt says, “We’ve been pulling information off of CT and MR scanners for 20 years, maybe doing some post processing work. Now we can take those images, put them in the cloud, and compare them to other images, even over time compute data to help with diagnostics. We can have those images on personal tools, like iPads.”

GE also has a Renewable Energy unit which develops wind energy technology and manufacturers wind turbine engines. On this sector, Immelt says, “We can have software running on 300 turbines, where we can model the wind, can optimize performance on the grid, and increase output by 20%. That’s the industrial Internet.”

Samsung is committing $1.2 Billion to IoT research in the United States. Samsung is moving from just making the devices and the infrastructure that supports them to making the software that will analyze the massive amounts of data these systems will generate.

Caterpillar, Ford, Toyota and nearly 800 other big players are also getting involved in IoT. According to a Tata Study featured in the Harvard Business Review of 795 large companies (average revenue of $22 billion) in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, the average per-company spending on IoT initiatives was $86 million in 2015 and is projected to grow to $103 million by 2018.

What about Small and Mid-sized Businesses?

Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) can benefit from IoT technology as well. The Lake Companies is in the business of helping SMBs in the manufacturing industry automate their shop floors and back offices. At The Lake Companies, we listen to you in order to learn about your organization and market so we can provide solutions catered specifically to your business to help you succeed. Now is definitely the time for SMBs to embrace the IoT wave because many of your competitors may already be on the move and you don’t want to be left behind!

“It would be a mistake to think the IoT is a game only for high rollers and crack technologists.”
Satya Ramaswamy – Harvard Business Review

The best news yet is that the technology is affordable, even for small organizations. The Harvard Business Review points out, “It would be a mistake to think the IoT is a game only for high rollers and crack technologists.”

Next up

In part two of this series, we’ll introduce you to the new IOT technology that The Lake Companies has pioneered in our ecosystem of intelligent interconnected enterprise software.

For more information on how to introduce IoT into your small or mid-sized business, please contact The Lake Companies.