Internet of Things: are we looking at a true "leap"?

The Internet of Things will make what we know and experience today become “old”. But some hurdles could slow its development.

Internet of Things: are we looking at a true “leap”?

Internet of Things: an Observatory is being born to create a strong connection between public and private

Article by Alessandro De Biasio, Partner and Head of Strategy and Internationalization Strategy Areas

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the next evolution of the Internetand is characterized by a potential for exponential improvement in the ability to collect in a granular way, analyze and distribute data convertible into information and knowledge.

Devices connection

The term Internet of Things gained frequency when, between 2008 and 2009, more “things” (or objects) than people began to be connected to the Internet. In 2003 around 6.3 billion people lived on Earth and there were around 500 million devices connected to the Internet. By 2010, partly as a result of the incredible boom in smartphones and tablets, the number of devices connected to the Internet had risen to 12.5 billion, while world population had grown to 6.8 billion. It is expected that the number of devices connected to the Internet will reach 25 billion by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020.

Not only the number of devices will increase, but also the relative composition of the wealth of instruments available will change, with an extraordinary increase in the number of sensors integrated in the environment (everything connected by information systems, software and services) which will make it possible to access an extraordinary amount of information.

Social opportunities

The impact, in terms of better use of natural resources, the ability to ensure better services to the population, safeguarding the territory (thanks to the widespread sensorial dimension that the Internet will acquire, making the management and distribution of data relating to temperatures, pressures, vibration, light, humidity and voltage possible), generating new economic activities, and implementing better decision-making processes at all levels, will be stupefying.

The areas of application are extremely wide-ranging, including health and public administration, energy, tourism, management of territory, buildings and public works, agriculture, and other areas.

The possibilities for Italy, especially in terms of better functioning of the public “machine” and company productivity increases, are extremely important. However, work needs to begin now so that these results can be achieved, by creating a strong public-private connection, defining collaboration protocols and starting to create common projects that enable the dissemination of the knowledge and skills necessary for governing this new, promising phase. Above all it is necessary to identify priorities towards which the actors active on the territory, both institutional and private, can converge, with each making its contribution directed at achieving a shared result.

The Internet of Things Observatory, created at the urging of Lombardy Region, was begun by The European House – Ambrosetti to identify proposals and projects for the territory in this area, with the support of a group of leading companies in the technological sector.

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