The Internet of Things (IoT) – which is the widespread interconnection of everyday objects – could have a more significant impact on the business world than the internet itself.

According to James Heppelmann, CEO of tech firm PTC, and Harvard Business School economist Michael Porter, the IoT concept has the potential to revolutionise the way in which enterprises operate, and could generate a new era of prosperity.

In a recent Harvard Business Review essay, the two authors discussed technology’s impact on the enterprise landscape over the last 50 years, covering two main “waves”. The first involved the rise to prominence of tech-enabled process automation in the 60s and 70s; the second was the internet’s arrival. Heppelmann and Porter believe that the IoT will be the third, reports.

The scholars wrote: “IT is becoming an integral part of the product itself. It is doing this by infusing sensors, processors and software in every product imaginable and coupling it with analytics.

“That combination will change how businesses operate, how they deliver their products and how they interact with customers.”

These predictions are supported by Gartner research director Alfonso Velosa, although he expects the fundamental changes to take a little longer to fully impact businesses. He insists the change could take closer to 10 or even 20 years.

Author: Graeme Parton