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What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? 

The Internet of Things definition

The Internet of Things is a network of physical objects – vehicles, machines, home appliances, and more – that use sensors and APIs to connect and exchange data over the Internet.
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Illustration of IoT platform

IoT platforms and architecture

Cloud-based IoT platforms and architecture connect the real and virtual worlds. They help companies manage IoT device connectivity and security – as well as collect device data, link devices to backend systems, ensure IoT interoperability, and build and run IoT applications. 

Illustration representing Big Data in IoT

Harnessing the IoT data explosion

Smart devices generate a massive amount of IoT data that needs to be analyzed and leveraged in real time. This is where predictive and Big Data analytics come into play. Machine learning is also used to add context to data – and trigger actions without human intervention.

Illustration of a smart machine connected to the IIoT

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) & M2M

In manufacturing, the IoT becomes the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – also known as the Industrial Internet or Industry 4.0. The IIoT uses machine to machine (M2M) technology to support everything from remote monitoring and telemetry to predictive maintenance.

Unlocking the value of the IoT

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Reaping the full rewards of the IoT

In this IoTNow magazine supplement, explore how the Internet of Things landscape is maturing, allowing businesses to monetize their data and focus on a wider range of outcomes.

Insights on the future of the Internet of Things

We asked 21 academics, entrepreneurs, engineers, and futurists about the future of IoT. Get their take on the evolution of smart devices, the new customer journey, IoT strategy, and more.

Get the facts

20.4B

smart devices will be connected to the IoT by 2020.

Gartner

$11T

is the potential yearly economic impact of the IoT by 2025.

McKinsey

50%

of all new operating assets will be self-sustaining by 2020.

IDC

Benefits of the Internet of Things

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New business models and revenue

Automatic product replenishment? Subscription services? Apps? The IoT is disrupting traditional business models and creating massive opportunities for companies to create new services based on real-time sensor data and information.

Operational efficiency

One of the biggest benefits of the IoT is the efficiency it can offer. Many companies are using it to automate business and manufacturing processes, remotely monitor and control operations, optimize supply chains, and conserve resources.

Workforce productivity

Wearables and other IoT-enabled devices are boosting workforce productivity and job satisfaction in many verticals. The technology is helping employees improve decision making, automate routine tasks, fast-track communication, and more.

Enhanced customer experiences

From integrating customer care with actual product performance and usage, to delivering highly personalized products and services, the IoT offers many ways to create more compelling customer experiences across digital and physical worlds.

IoT use cases in key sectors

The Internet of Things is having a profound impact on many different industries and lines of business. Here are three sectors leading the way:

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