The Internet has become commonplace for most people within their daily lives. However, when you ask someone what they think of when they hear the word “Internet”, it is likely that they think primarily of their computers and tablets. However, the Internet of Things is much more than just computers, and it is poised to change everything.
To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Masters in Electrical Engineering program.
It is staggering to think about the number of Internet connected devices that are already being used today. However, this number pales by comparison when one considers how many connected devices are estimated to be in use in the future. The number of connected devices already exceeds the entire human population on planet Earth. However, by 2020, it is estimated that the number of connected devices will double. With that kind of growth, it is easy to see how the Internet of Things is going to truly change the world as we know it today.
The Internet of Things is not just something that will be introduced in the future… it is actually already here. However, today the devices that are being used are primarily focused on consumers. Products that consumers frequently use within their daily lives have been the initial focus. For example, refrigerators are on the list of everyday items that can be connected to the Internet. However, in the future, there will undoubtedly be a larger focus on industrial usage of the Internet of Things.
Challenges and Barriers
As with any new thing, there are challenges and barriers to be dealt with concerning the new and exciting technology. Anyone who has ever struggled when connecting a printer to a computer understands that technology does not always “play nice”. Interoperability has been, and will undoubtedly continue to be, a challenge when connecting devices to the Internet. In addition to the technology challenges of the new connected devices, there will also be the issue of adapting existing equipment. Companies will be looking for employees who have experience in this area, so that they will be able to utilize this new technology quickly and economically.
Additionally, security is a major concern. There have already been situations where security breaches have occurred concerning Internet connected devices. As the Internet of Things grows, security needs are going to grow right along with it. The fear of security breaches has been one of the reasons why many companies have not yet made any plans that involve this type of technology. However, in order to remain competitive in today’s world, and especially in the future, Internet connected devices are going to be a must. As companies prepare for and develop these new Internet connected devices, they will also have to expand their IT departments in order to deal with the related security needs and concerns.
As is the case with all new technology, some disruption to the existing business models of many companies is almost inevitable. Companies that start preparing for these changes now will be better prepared to implement this new technology in the future. As companies begin these preparations, they will undoubtedly be expanding their work force to include individuals who have the education and technology degrees required in order to hit the ground running with this new technology.
As the Internet of Things continues to grow, it will become even more firmly entrenched in our everyday lives. Already, it is being used in some industrial applications. For example, software and data sensors are being integrated into power plants to increase efficiency and output. Every day, city management concerns, such as water management and street lighting, are being managed via Internet connectivity in some municipalities. In the future, this type of usage will grow by a staggering amount.
The growth of the network of Internet connected devices will also help grow the job market. Job growth is already taking place, but will increase even more in the future as more devices and services take advantage of this technology. Additionally, the need for security will also help create jobs. This job growth will take place in a number of ways. Of course, the need for security-related IT jobs will grow. But additionally, a whole new job market will open up for individuals who specialize in the management of these types of devices, as well as the infrastructure that supports them. Those who are embarking on technology related education paths today will find themselves better prepared than most for this new and ever-expanding job market.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)