In IT Trends

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the latest buzzword that triggers images of self-regulating thermostats, health monitors and refrigerators that let you know when the milk goes bad. But it’s more than that: IoT is projected to be a $7.1 trillion—yes, trillion—market worldwide by 2020, according to IDC.

Background

Machine-to-machine interaction is not new. A great example of this is RFID tags, which helps in automating inventory control, tracking and other benchmark and data collection. Traditionally, however, the data was simply collected and stored for a later data mining.

Today, advances in chip design and manufacturing have taken machine-to-machine concept beyond its initial purpose. Add in data analytics and you’ve got a technology powerhouse that combines intelligence with automation—think a vending machine that senses when it’s running low on a particular snack and sends a message to the inventory control system, which adds a supply of the snack to the route driver’s next batch to be restocked.

More than analytics

At first glance, it would seem that IoT is all about the analytics. But it’s more than that. IoT starts with sensors that capture the data. And that needs a robust network to house the sensors and handle the increase in data traffic quickly and efficiently. In addition, software is necessary to extract the data, while services interpret the data in a meaningful way.

This introduces a great potential for IT service providers. According to, “Sizing Up the Internet of Things,” a report published in 2014 by CompTIA, hardware and software will drive most channel partner opportunities in IoT—at least in the near term. “With so much data being transmitted, robust networks will be a critical part of any strategy around IoT,” the report noted.

Standing out

Another area where a MSP has potential to shine in IoT is simply in finding the opportunities. As that “trusted adviser,” solution providers should know their customers’ business inside and out. The opportunity lies in taking that knowledge and finding ways in which IoT can solve a customer’s problem differently.

“When you look at the Internet of Things, the things themselves are not interesting,” said Dave Sobel, director of Community at MAXfocus and a self-professed IoT enthusiast. “We’re all focused on the ‘things,’ but that’s not where the opportunity is.”

Today, IoT is still at the low end of the left side of the bell curve. But, as with most things that can help a company perform more efficiently and effectively, saving it time and money (not to mention improve the customer experience), it’s only a matter of time before IoT permeates that space between high-end manufacturing and consumer.

Special credits to Charlene OHanlon | The VAR Guy

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