Internet growth only knows one direction: forward. By the end of 2015, more than three billion people were connected to one another over the World Wide Web – and more are joining them every second.
But even before reaching everyone in the world, the Internet has been relentlessly foraying into new areas. Case in point: nowadays there are some 15 billion "things" digitally connected to each other. Still, this is only just the start of the Internet of Things (IoT). Experts at Cisco expect the IoT to grow to 50 billion devices by 2020. The worldwide potential of connectable devices is estimated at a whopping 1.5 trillion. In addition to computers, tablets and smartphones, this potential also includes wearables, home electronics, household appliances, vehicles and industrial machines.
Just a stage
And even the Internet of Things is merely a stage. In the Internet of Everything, data, people, machines and processes will be connected to each other in the future. Cloud technologies, big data and IT security are additional drivers. Together they are paving the way for corporate digital transformation.
There is no alternative to the digitization of the business world. That's something all experts – IT, economic and political – agree on. The only thing that is debatable is how fast it will go. Meanwhile, development is extremely fast since everything that can be digitized is being digitized and everything that can be connected is being connected.
Lower costs, higher productivity
Machine-to-machine communication (M2M), in particular, holds the promise of innovative business models in industry, and thus new opportunities for growth. The Internet of Things can help companies make their product portfolios much more flexible and change their production flows more quickly. That's why 44 percent of companies in the mechanical engineering, chemicals, electronics and automotive industries use applications from the Internet of Things and 18 percent are planning to use similar technologies.
Not a sure-fire success
Nevertheless, digitization of business processes does not ensure immediate success and, in addition to experienced partners, also requires a corresponding infrastructure in the form of a high-performance IoT platform – such as Deutsche Telekom's Multi IoT Service Platform (MISP), which combines the benefits of the best platform providers in the Internet of Things (IoT) from a single source. The platform is customized for each customer, adapted to their project.
Numerous Internet of Things application scenarios are based on this principle. For example, it permits early detection of imminent damage to transportation goods or malfunctions of cooling systems and machine components using monitoring and tracking. With Mobile Assets Management, agricultural equipment, forklift trucks, excavators and many other moving objects can be monitored, navigated, controlled and aligned with each other using software. Predictive maintenance solutions, in contrast, use hundreds of sensors to continuously transmit the status of devices and machines such as trains or production machines.
This is how you can benefit
The "Digital industrial transformation by the Internet of Things" study, which you can download in German in PDF format, tells you more about the topic and gives you a well-founded answer to the question "How can companies in Europe benefit from the Internet of Things?".