Today’s business world is vastly different from that of 30, 20 even 10 years ago — and 10 years from now will likely be significantly different largely because of the explosive growth of technology referred to as the Internet of Things. The IoT is a constantly growing network of physical objects that have an IP address for Internet connectivity. The communication that occurs among these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems will provide improved product functionality, streamlined implementations and across the board efficiencies. And IT solution providers will be tasked with making it all work together.
This site will aim to discuss how the IoT will influence the construction of smart buildings, transportation systems and products, industrial applications and, of course retail. Each of those are vibrant vertical markets.
In retail, for example, a savvy solution provider may implement a business intelligence package that incorporates wireless, video, mobile point-of-sale and beacons so it can deliver a customer experience that is best in class. But that retailer may also, one day, have a backend IoT solution in place with its suppliers so it can track materials and products from inception to sale. That’s a 360 degree solution.
The Industrial IoT will help companies evolve and transform themselves, introducing a new wave of prosperity and competition. They will be able to increase sales by bumping up production and creating new hybrid business models. Intelligent technologies will drive innovation and streamline the workforce.
Smart buildings will be more secure, and use less energy. Building equipment manufacturers have started selling systems that collect, store and analyze data in the cloud, so they can use it to provide better operational efficiency.
Finally, the transportation sector is a natural for the IoT. Autos, in particular, with their computer “brains,” can use IoT technologies to automate processes to make driving easier, less stressful and safer. Industry experts estimate that every car will be connected in some way by 2025, and the market for connected vehicle technology will reach $54 billion by 2017, according to the Application Developers Alliance. For example, take the much-talked about self-driving car. Hype or close to reality? Much closer than many realize: “A car that drives itself is 90% software and 10% hardware. We’re about 70% software now, so you could say there are many opportunities out there for developers,” said Liz Kerton of the Autotech Council recently.
Although there are many IoT solutions already in use, there are plenty more on the drawing board. And even more that are simply a glimmer in a solution provider’s eye. In fact, the majority of organizations have not yet implemented IoT technology or platform. That’s a huge opportunity for solution providers.
Thanks for reading and being a part of our journey as we transition this site from a retail focus toward one dealing with the exciting world of the Internet of things. Welcome, and we look forward to connecting with you soon.
Jennifer D. Bosavage
Editor in Chief
Writing and editing from the IT metropolis that is Fairfield County, Conn., Jen is Editor In Chief of Solution Providers For Retail. In her role, she oversees all editorial operations of the site, including engaging VARs to share their expertise within the community. She has written for IT professionals for more than 20 years, with expertise in covering issues concerning solution providers, systems integrators, and resellers.
Jen most recently was Senior Editor at CRN. There, she was in charge of the publication's editorial research projects, including: Solution Provider 500, Fast Growth 100, Women of the Channel, and Emerging Vendors, among many others. She launched the online blog, "Channel Voices," and often wrote on career issues facing IT professionals in her blog, "One Year to a Better Career."
Jen began her tech journalism career at Electronic Buyer News, where she covered the purchasing beat. (That was so long ago that blue LEDs were big news.) Starting as copy editor, she worked her way up to Managing Editor before moving to VARBusiness. At VARBusiness, she was Executive Editor, leading a team of writers that won the prestigious Jesse Neal award for editorial excellence.
Jennifer has been married for 22 years and has two wonderful kids (even the teenager). To adults in her hometown, she is best known for her enormous Newfoundland dog; to high schoolers, for her taco nights.