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Ascent Index: Internet of Things (IoT)

Ascent Index: Internet of Things (IoT)

Even though the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) was introduced in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, only relatively recently has it gained significant footholds both culturally and professionally. But make no mistake: IoT has enormous potential, with Cisco suggesting the market opportunity for the next decade is north of $14 trillion.

It seems an ideal time to use the Ascent Index to measure global buzz around the Internet of Things, and better understand where its spikes in social activity are coming from. Our Index tracks a wide range of social media mentions – tweets, updates, blog posts, videos, etc. – to monitor various enterprise IT trends and how often they’re being discussed.

With over 115,000 social mentions over the last month, IoT is our most active index to date. Its momentum has only increased since Walter’s three-part series on IoT last winter, with two of the biggest spikes occurring in April.

April 9th is actually recognized as IoT Day around the world, a day dedicated to sharing ideas about advances in IoT and its implications. Events were held in nearly 20 countries, bringing together industry players and enthusiasts to discuss IoT and its future. We saw nearly 7,000 social mentions on April 9th alone.

The second big spike began April 30, when Cisco announced its participation in the $14.5 million series B financing for startup Ayla Networks, an IoT platform provider. On the same day Cisco also invested $7 million in startup Evrythng, which seeks to give every object a unique URL. And that was not the end of it, as Cisco later publicized that it would invest $150 million in emerging IoT technologies in the next two to three years. The Cisco-fueled news cycle lead to a three-day surge in social activity from April 30th to May 2nd.

With the Ciscos, General Electrics, Accentures and other industry giants providing considerable momentum for the IoT movement, it’s generating more Index buzz than Big Data and BYOD ever have. But there’s also a broader consumer story at play here; the Internet of Things will do as much for your home as it will your office. The consumer angle is starting to resonate with a broader audience, and will keep the buzz and momentum growing. It will be interesting to track where it goes from here – and what new heights it will reach – as impediments are removed and IoT moves from conceptual to applicable across business and consumer environments.

I’ll discuss these trends later this month at the 2014 TieCon East “Breaking Barriers” Conference. I’m part of a panel examining the impact of IoT on the global economy and what needs to be done to capture its vast potential. I’ll report back here next month with some key takeaways.

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