Decades ago, the Internet was born to transform the way we would work and live forever. It connected computer networks worldwide. Then mobile and cloud technologies were developed to connect people wherever they may go. Today, we are preparing for the next technological era called the Internet of Things, which will literally connect everything in our world – not just computers and people. It promises to connect the devices we use, the places we go to, the people we want to reach, the tasks we want to achieve. No matter where we are.

Business Insider’s premium research service, expects there will be more than 24 Billion IoT devices on Earth by 2020. That’s approximately four devices for every human being on the planet.

With the combination of Internet, mobile, cloud, sensor and data technologies, we will be able connect, control and monitor everything that happens around us. Empowered with real-time information about room temperature, energy consumption, vehicle speed, manufacturing equipment, machine maintenance and countless other data, we will be able to make informed decisions that are more productive and efficient for our business.

Whether you are an individual entrepreneur or a large enterprise, the Internet of Things will undoubtedly impact your business.

How Does This Impact You?

The new rule for the future is going to be, “Anything that can be connected, will be connected.” But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other? There are many examples for what this might look like or what the potential value might be. Say for example you are on your way to a meeting; your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more?  What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working?

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