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  • When it comes to the Internet of things (IoT), think big. As in really, really big. As in a staggering number of online machines and devices—including those installed for network-enabled cars, shoes, washing machines, pets and virtually anything else in existence—connected by the next decade. For enterprises, this represents a watershed opportunity for cost reductions and new revenue, according to recent research from Deloitte. The resulting report, "The Internet of Things Ecosystem: Unlocking the Business Value of Connected Devices," reveals what companies are seeking from this developing technology. In addition, it presents a number of best practices for IT teams to maximize IoT's strategic value. "The Internet of things has the potential to offer business value that goes beyond operational cost savings," says Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and leader of Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. "Providers in the IoT ecosystem have a largely unexplored opportunity to develop compelling solutions that explore how the ability to collect and analyze disparate data—in real time and across time—might transform the business. These developments will play out within and across enterprises, offering opportunities for sustained value creation, and even disruption for those who can imagine possibilities beyond the incremental." Deloitte compiled the statistics included in the following slides from research conducted by Gartner, the Economist Intelligence Unit and Deloitte's own analysis.

  • A network access control solution enables Broward College to manage the thousands of students and staff who access the network from their mobile devices.

  • Thanks to an insatiable worldwide demand for connectivity, Internet traffic will soar to staggering levels over the next several years, according to recent research from Cisco. The resulting report, "Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018," presents a wide range of predictions that cover the growth of overall IP traffic, mobile data and streaming video, among other drivers. All of this bodes well for virtually all technology professionals—particularly those who specialize in hot niches, such as mobility, network systems operations, data analytics (especially unstructured), and content generation and support. "We are … witnessing incredible innovations and shifts in the industry," says Doug Webster, vice president of products and solutions marketing for Cisco. "The reality of the Internet of everything, the increasing demand for network mobility and the emergence of 4K video are [driving] significant opportunities for service providers today and in the immediate future." The forecast was compiled from independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data usage studies, along with Cisco's own estimates.

  • The commonwealth of Puerto Rico invests in fiber to build world-class technology and provide high-speed access to most of the private businesses in Old San Juan.

  • Allowing employees to use their personal mobile devices to access the corporate network can increase productivity and morale, but it also increases risks.

  • If something isn't connected to the Internet—whether human, animal, household appliance, automobile, factory tool, etc.—does it exist? If you're going all-in on the Internet of things, you may conclude that it doesn't. Simply stated, the Internet of things refers to the possibility of providing online connectivity for every "thing" on the planet. In addition to computing devices, the objects and products that can be connected include cars, ovens, bathtubs, washing machines, bridges, dams and hospital patient monitors. What else could come of this? "Paper towel dispensers in restrooms that signal when they need to be refilled," according to a recent report from the Pew Research Internet Project. "Municipal trash cans that signal when they need to be emptied. Alarm clocks that start the coffee maker." The phenomenon has even launched the concept of "smart creatures," which places homing devices on animals. In the case of honey bees, for example, the device would monitor their pollination productivity. Given the growing interest in these and other related tech developments, we're presenting the following 10 fascinating facts about the Internet of things. They were compiled from a variety of online research and infographics, including reports from Cisco, Gartner and the Pew Research Internet Project study.