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IoT- Where and Why Should You Invest

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big thing in the world of Internet and has the potential to change life in a big way.

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Much have been written about how IoT will disrupt enterprises, but enterprises are still clueless as to how exactly they would invest in IoT. The confusion is largely owing to the actual implementation still being limited. IoT is yet to attain critical mass and become a normal phenomenon, like what a smartphone is now. However, it is only a matter of time before it becomes so, and enterprises who have a clear cut idea of where exactly to invest, and how, can reap the early mover advantage.

The IoT Infrastructure Backbone

IoT essentially entails assigning an IP address to any “thing,” and making it thing a part of a wider ecosystem. Research major, Gartner estimates the number of physical “things” connected to the Internet to exceed 25 million by 2020, a big jump from the approximately five billion “things” connected to the Internet today.

The most obvious IoT investments are sensors, processor chips, and wi-networks,  besides supporting equipment such as routers and modems. Hardware firms such as Qualcomm offer IoT chips, and networking companies such as Aruba Network, Ruckus Wireless, and a host of others, offer IoT solutions. However, not all enterprises would need to, or even have the capability to set up custom IoT implementations. They would rather deploy ready-to-go IoT solutions available in the market.

Ready to Consume Products

There is already a huge untapped market for smart devices, from smart cars that navigate automatically to smart lighting that manages energy automatically, and from smart shirts that capture body information to smart thermostats and many other things. Enterprises would obviously need to invest in “things” relevant to their business, or “things” which add value. However, even here the options are not yet clear cut, as IoT ecosystems are still its nascent stage, and yet to mature.

Usually, companies that market smart devices grab the headlines when in actuality such “marketing” companies rely on third-party firms who develop and support the products they sell.

A barometer of which IoT product or project is likely to succeed is the interest shown by investors to the device or project. For example, Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat is widely popular among investors, and backed by Google, is a safe bet for enterprises to control air conditioning and other devices and achieve optimal energy efficiency.

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