The Internet of Things is one of the many things changing the business landscape. Many analysts and business writers will tell you that it is the thing that is changing how we’re going to do business in the future. While it’s certainly not the only thing, it’s definitely one of the most important.

But while many people have heard the term, most people don’t seem to know what the Internet of Things actually is. I’ll set it out as briefly as possible. It’s not an Internet unto itself.

It’s simply a term that refers to the way that new devices are collecting data from their environment. The device transmits that data over the Internet. The data gets sent to another device, which then serves a particular use to the user.

It’s the technology that allows your phone to get your coffee machine on the go when your alarm clock triggers in the morning. It’s what allows people to track their vital signs online when they’re working out or participating in sports. It’s what’s allowing waste companies to track how full particular trash cans are so they can optimize their collection routes.

It’s important for new businesses to understand just how important the Internet of Things is.

The Internet of Things is becoming massive

Devices that collect data from their environment and transmit that data across the Internet? It sounds a little basic, right? As if we’ve had this technology for years and years. Decades, even. And, in a way, we have.

Devices have been communicating this sort of data to each other for a long time. But it’s the new rise in smartphone and tablet technology that’s sparked its potential as a massive commercial industry. This, combined with the modern obsession with novelty and information, has ensured a viable future in the Internet of Things.

The estimates given about the future of IoT shows how much commercial potential there’s going to be here. By 2020, it’s estimated that at least a quarter of a million vehicles will be connected to the Internet.

Wearable device technology is already making billions and looks set to make even more. Google and Samsung are investing billions of dollars in IoT companies such as Nest Labs and Smart Things. In as little as four years from now, the IoT is forecasted to be worth trillions.

Businesses are finding it easier to integrate into their schemes

Hopefully, you now understand just how big the Internet of Things is getting. But the question on the lips of millions of business owners is this: How do I get involved?

Thankfully, many companies have a good foundation for tapping into this market. Gone are the days where your average modern company has only a few employees adept at technology.

These days, your average office is filled with designers and developers. And any tech-savvy employee worth their salt is keeping a close eye on this expanding market.

The trouble that many companies are predicting is the integration of a framework that will allow them to use IoT effectively. The devices they produce have to communicate flawlessly with devices on their end and on the user’s end.

But here’s something to remember about business! Where there’s huge market potential, you’re not only going to see a rise in companies wanting to get directly involved.

You’re also going to see a dramatic rise in companies who specialize in helping those companies! You can already look into getting an IoT framework maintained for you by outsourcers.

It’s causing a huge shift in how we interact with devices

With all of these innovations, what exactly can contain a device has changed. This kind of technology is being integrated into so many everyday objects. When you realize just how many things out there are open to new technological innovations, it may just make your head spin.

Sensing technology is being placed in roads and bridges that monitor traffic activity and moisture levels. This data can then be sent to a car that is connected to the Internet. (Failing that, it can just be sent to a user’s smartphone.) This is just one of the examples of the ways we’re making two objects communicate with each other in a way that benefits the user.

If you’re starting a business invested in technology, then you need to start planning your moves in relation to the Internet of Things. The possibilities for shocking and bestselling innovations are getting more and more expansive.

Will your startup be able to take full advantage of these bizarre but amazing opportunities? Get to the drawing board – “impossible ideas” are quickly dwindling in number!