Opinion by Thornton May

When IT meets the IoT

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The question for executives isn’t ‘What can smart things do?’ but ‘What can we do with smart things?’

The Internet of Things goes by many names. Cisco’s preferred moniker is the Internet of Everything. Then there’s the Internet of Better Things (Ikea), the Analytics of Everything (SAS), the Industrial Awakening (KPCB), the Industrial Internet (GE), Everyware (Adam Greenfield), Ubiquitous Computing, or UbiComp (Mark Weiser at PARC), Things That Think (Hiroshi Ishii of MIT) and Enchanted Objects (David Rose of MIT).

But whatever you call it, the embedding of rudimentary intelligence and communications capabilities into an expanding array of physical and organic “things” is well under way. And it will materially impact modern existence. The question facing executives in general and IT professionals in particular is not so much “What can smart things do?” as “What can we do with smart things?” Specifically and more strategically, what do all these smart things do for us, and what do we need to do to make money with smart things?

Projections

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