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The Internet of Things (IoT) has been featured heavily in the industry press for a couple years now. The concept of an automated, connected home is desirable to many. The thought of your HVAC turning on when you leave work because your phone’s GPS is connected to your thermostat, ensuring a perfect temperature when you walk in the door (while saving money all day while not running it) sounds great. Your lights turn on when you enter the room and off when you leave it. You could pick a recipe online and send it to your fridge which has catalogued everything inside it; the fridge would then send you a push notification with a grocery list of things you need to make that recipe a reality.

Many people know about the device side of that equation, but according to Business Insider, those devices are only about ⅓ of the IoT market, with the other ⅔ coming from data storage, security, and software-as-a-service.

The total capturable market could be huge. Gartner has suggested that nearly 6.5 billion IoT devices will be in use worldwide next year, which is 30 percent more than this year. Gartner continued, predicting IoT-related services would account for $235 billion in sales in 2016 as “the real driver of value in IoT.”

IBM, one of the biggest enterprise servicing companies, has made a huge bet predicated upon a belief in the same prediction Gartner espoused. IBM, in the not-too-distant past, announced it would invest $3 billion over the next four years to build and grow a distinct IoT business unit.

IBM is well positioned to make serious moves in this space given not only its services expertise, but also its skill with data acquisition and analytics.

Business Insider continues:

“Now imagine the world around us — homes, cars, and even cities — all inter-connected.

The amount of information will become enormous, and IBM is betting enterprises are going to need a hand in sifting through all that data to securely store and formulate actionable results. And based on the predictions, IBM’s IoT efforts are spot on.”

With its deep-thinking computational platform Watson in tow, IBM is wading hip deep into data capture, analysis and action. Much of the key to the IoT enterprise market will come not from devices, but from these types of services; IBM should be well positioned to capitalize on these market forces with its deep investment in the non-device IoT field.

What does this mean for your enterprise?

Take a page out of IBM’s book to understand the unseen opportunity in new fields. People have been reading and thinking about IoT devices for multiple years, but the servicing side of that equation will probably be twice as big as the device side. Look deep into new opportunities to find the most important, and potentially lucrative, trends therein. Many people understand IoT is the wave of the future, but IBM has realized which part of the wave is most worth riding. Look beyond surface-level excitement in new technologies to understand where your enterprise can deliver the most value and extract the most profits.

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