Many have predicted that the Internet of Things is the future, but without much of an M2M infrastructure in place, few can really know when that future is coming. How soon can we expect to see these initiatives change the way we live on and off the web?

Semantics in Self-Reporting

Many consider the Internet of Things part of a glittering future just on the horizon, yet always just out of reach. To date, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been great fodder for Cisco Commercials and TED talks, but real implementations are not yet mainstream at many traditional businesses.

And while there really is good reason to believe that the Internet of Things will play a significant role in consumers’ lives and commercial enterprises in the near future, the timing’s not clear yet. Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2015 report stated that almost 75% of executives already have IoT initiatives underway — but if that’s the case, why aren’t we seeing it all around us? Where are the sensors that send updates on offers and deals to our phones as soon as we walk into a retailer?

It turns out that finding is a little misleading. This statistic was pulled from an Economist study, and that research actually found that 75% of executives “are either actively exploring the IoT or already using it.” Actively exploring IoT initiatives is a lot different from already having them underway. In fact, the Economist says that the majority of these companies are merely in the research stages of development.

A full 96% of senior executives may say they expect their businesses to be using the IoT within the next three years, but is this just bold talk, or a real commitment to the potential of M2M technology?

It could be that companies are only just starting to realize all the things the IoT makes possible. Early adopters will hearken in a new era of connected businesses, and the transparency that comes with it will enable executives to make better data-driven decisions.

A Quiet Arms Race

The race to be one of those early adopters could also explain why growth on this front seems so subdued. Competing companies don’t want to tip their hand when it comes to their plans for the IoT, hoping to gain leverage over one another. Amazon, for instance, quietly purchased the Colorado IoT startup 2lementary, refusing to spill any of their plans for their new asset to the press. That’s sound business — if its competitor Google managed to get a stranglehold on the IoT infrastructure, Amazon could find itself on the wrong side of their continuing rivalry.

When it comes to adopting new infrastructure in business, there’s often strength in silence. Though the waters might seem calm now, companies that aren’t preparing themselves might end up getting wet when the tides turn. The IoT is coming, and if you don’t know that now, you’ll find out when your competitors are bringing it to your doorstep.