Internet of things: More Things than People
Things could get crowded on the Internet of Things (IoT): Experts from analytics firm Gartner are predicting a “population” of 8.4 billion devices that can communicate over the internet by the end of this year. Coffee makers, fitness bracelets, refrigerators, and of course lots of industrial applications – all these devices and more have been populating the technosphere for quite some time. In comparison: there are currently around 7.5 billion people on Earth. And according to the World Bank, not even half of them are online yet!
20 Billion by 2020
The trend is going to continue in favour of devices, or even accelerate say analysts. Over 20 billion networked devices are predicted to be online by 2020. According to current estimations by the United Nations, the world’s population at this time will still be under the 8 billion mark.
Most devices are used in private settings. The growth is strongest here. However, there are also major gains being made in the commercial and industrial segments. The whole thing is a massive market: according to Gartner, manufacturers today are investing two billion dollars around the world in these devices and related software services.
Data, Data, Data …
It’s the inherent logic of development: data and more data. We have been living in a zettabyte age for quite some time now: in 2016, a billion terabytes (or one trillion gigabytes) of information flowed through the internet. This seems unimaginable, but it’s certainly not the end of the data flood that’s yet to come. For manufacturers of internet-capable devices and – if they’re not the same companies – for service providers that use these devices to sell services to their customers, this means one thing above all else: The flows of data and the business processes that might be unleashed by these floods need to be channelled, documented, and archived in a transparent fashion.
Classic Business Processes, Initiated in the Internet of things
Let’s take a look at the refrigerator, a favourite example when discussing the IoT, that can order milk, eggs, and other such foods all on its own. Ordering? Delivery? Invoicing? That all sounds pretty familiar. These are classic business processes – in the Internet of Things. No matter whether it’s a human or a machine triggering these processes, the digital workflow is the same. Processes can also be the same for service providers too – provided they have a workflow that’s powerful enough. One thing is clear: the demand, and the number of orders, certainly still has room to grow, and grow, and grow …