According to Gartner, by 2020 at least 25 billion devices will be connected.
These devices won’t be limited to smartphones, laptops and tablets.
They’ll probably include refrigerators, cars, streetlights, thermostats, washers and dryers…you name it. If it can be turned on and off, chances are it can be connected.
You’re probably already familiar with this concept of everything being connected. It’s called the Internet of Things, and it’s truly connecting “things” across the globe, taking small data from each device and collectively making it big data in the cloud.
And you’re probably also familiar with cloud computing, as it’s a popular technology buzzword and major game-changer in the worlds of business and consumers.
Cloud is the magic behind the Internet of Things. The two are linked, and this will not change. The IoT requires cloud computing to work, and consequently, the cloud will continue to evolve to serve it better.
Connected devices are communicating with cloud servers, and most won’t have their own internal storage, so they’ll use the cloud to avoid limitations and issues with upgrades. Through the IoT, cloud computing is connecting devices and collecting data from disparate places, making it useful through Big Data analytics. As the number of connected devices increases, cloud infrastructure will inevitably need to grow as well to accommodate the swell of data. And it’s not just about the volume of data. Cloud is also managing a huge variety of data and using it to make real-time critical decisions by combining it with other data.
In coming years, we will certainly see major growth in cloud-based services that will support the connected devices of the Internet of Things, as well as upgrades in communications networks to further support it.
A current barrier for these two technologies is security. Cloud computing has largely addressed this issue, offering greater security than what businesses can provide to themselves. The Internet of Things, however, is a whole new game. There is not yet enough attention being focused on security for the IoT by manufacturers – but with so many connected devices and the expected growth, this needs to change. Everything that is connected also needs to be secure, and manufacturers shouldn’t wait for major incidents to make this happen. As the number of connected devices increases, there will be greater risk for breaches and attacks. IoT needs to be able to deliver security to these connected assets.
But even despite security concerns, the Internet of Things is happening right now. Consider the number of devices that you currently connect to Wi-Fi – and then imagine all the other users of connected devices. The amazing part is that only 0.06% of things that could be connected to the Internet currently are, with 328 million things being connected every month. (CloudTweaks)
This big change is already happening, and it’s happening alongside cloud computing. The two will inevitably grow together, helping businesses increase efficiency, make informed decisions, identify new opportunities, and provide new services. It’s predicted that by 2018, nearly half of connected devices will be used for business. These technologies are impacting and reshaping business and daily lives, and they’re just getting started.
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