As a major player in the growing Internet of Things, the smart meter is already affecting millions of lives, and it’s projected to change even more. If your company plans to gain the competitive edge it needs to be a leader in its space, it needs to get involved in this growing market.

As evidenced by the smart meter, profitable things come in small packages. Currently used in 40% of households (according to the Edison Foundation) and by 44% of commercial industrial companies nationwide (according to Statista), these Internet of Things-enabled devices are undeniably on the rise, especially in the business world.

In fact, smart meters’ penetration rate among businesses is projected to double over the course of just seven years.

In case you haven’t gotten the memo about this groundbreaking technology, a smart meter tracks data about your energy use and wirelessly broadcasts this information to your own device, helping you monitor consumption and costs.

Already enjoying success in factories, warehouses, and other industrial facilities around the world, these devices together form a global network that could have massive implications in just a few years’ time.

The Success of the Smart Meter

Perhaps the biggest factor behind the smart meter’s success is its ability to turn the conflict between industry and environmentalism into a win-win situation. In the past decade, companies have faced increased public pressure to make their practices more environmentally friendly.

Unfortunately, many proposed reforms would prove unfriendly to these companies’ bottom lines.

Smart meters, however, are different. Businesses have a direct interest in limiting the amount of energy they consume, and these devices allow them to keep their energy expenses to a minimum — they also eliminate the need to hire meter readers.

The result is the introduction of a more eco-conscious industrial sector, a feat that many politicians and reforms have tried and failed to accomplish.

Welcome to the Internet of Things

Another reason for the triumph of the smart meter is all industry’s increasing reliance on the Internet of Things (IoT). This new frontier in global tech is young, but thanks to its proven ability to cut costs and increase productivity, it’s already a five trillion dollar industry.

Smart factories rely on IoT-enabled machines that communicate with each other and manage workflow, and GE is using the technology to collect data on everything from jet engines to power plants, as Fast Company reports.

Those on this industry’s ground floor are already taking flight. As smart meters become increasingly popular with consumers, centers of industry, and investors, it’s getting more and more obvious how important big data and interconnectivity will be to tomorrow’s business world.