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The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things in Everyday Life

By DeVry University


The Internet has become such an integral part of our personal and professional lives that it’s hard to imagine what we did without it. Many technology experts predict that the Internet of Things, or IoT, will be equally impactful, improving our lives at home and at work in ways we cannot yet imagine.[1]

Just what is the Internet of Things? It’s the concept of connecting any device that has an on/off switch to the Internet—and connecting these devices to one another.[2] The devices “talk” to each other by using embedded sensors to collect information that the units then share. Think about wearable devices such as Fitbit ® or the Apple Watch®[3]: They connect wirelessly with a smartphone, sharing data such as heart rate and calories burned. This same basic concept is behind self-driving cars. In the home, it’s the technology that allows people to use their smartphones to lock their front doors or manage the thermostat from hundreds of miles away. And the IoT is extending into manufacturing, retail, healthcare, aviation and a host of other industries as well.[4]

In the very near future, don’t be surprised to see these connected devices every day. Research firm Gartner predicts that the number of connected “things” worldwide will reach 6.4 billion this year and 20.8 billion by 2020. A recent McKinsey & Company study estimates that IoT hardware and software could create $11.1 trillion in economic value in as little as 10 years, a huge boon to the tech industry.[5]

In the workplace, companies that can effectively exploit the IoT may ultimately have a competitive advantage. Harnessing all of the data constantly streaming from devices in the IoT is not an easy task. Companies that have the means to identify the best sources of data and analyze it can make informed decisions more quickly than ever before.

“Through the deployment of sensors and the collection and analysis of the data they generate, the IoT opens new avenues to influence and augment actions, from urging you to get up from your desk and move, to replenishing inventory when a store shelf empties,” states a Deloitte report.

While the positive effects of IoT may be felt first in industries such as manufacturing, this is not the only vertical that may find uses for the IoT. For example, any industry making use of consumer mobile technology—think banking, insurance and finance—may benefit from the data generated as customers engage through a variety of apps and devices.

Broadly, the Internet of Things promises to redefine how businesses spot weak points and identify efficiencies, and ultimately provides opportunities to increase profitability and customer satisfaction.[6] Connected devices alone, however, cannot do this work. It is the professionals with IoT experience who will be the foundation of this new method of analysis and improvement.

Knowledge of how these devices connect to a larger network, and how that network functions may create opportunities in the workplace that did not exist prior to the IoT.[7] [8]

Brought to you by DeVry University. In 1931, Herman DeVry founded a university that embraced technology.  Today, we are putting technology at the core of our business, tech and healthcare programs, preparing our students to solve tomorrow’s problems.

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[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/iot-ecosystem-internet-of-things-forecasts-and-business-opportunities-2016-2?IR=T

[2] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/Internet_of_things

[3] DeVry University has no affiliation with Apple or Fitbit.

[4] http://www.businessinsider.com/iot-ecosystem-internet-of-things-forecasts-and-business-opportunities-2016-2?IR=T

[5] http://time.com/4525195/president-technology/?iid=sr-link1

[6] http://www.industryweek.com/operational-efficiencies

[7] https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/10/the-future-of-the-iot-job-market/

[8] https://hbr.org/2014/10/the-internet-of-things-will-change-your-company-not-just-your-products