2014 Telecom Expense Management Trend #6: Smart Machines & The Internet of Everything

[As a followup to our TEM in 2014: History and Trends webinar (available as a stream or a white paper), we’re offering a series of posts covering telecom expense management – where it came from, where it’s going, and trends for the future.]

Smart machines and M2M (machine to machine) traffic have been around for a while, but they are rapidly becoming ubiquitous. More and more devices are designed to collect, process and transmit data.  Whether it is medical equipment or RFID tags on shipping containers, they need to be inventoried, secured, managed and expensed.

The catchphrase “The Internet of Everything” captures this well. Everything, everywhere, is set to be connected.  We discussed wearables earlier, but the range is ever growing – driven by consumer demand, cheap processing power, and ubiquitous internet access. To give an idea of scale – according to Gartner there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. ABI Research concludes more than 30 billion.

The point?  Now it becomes IT’s problem to determine what the ramifications of that are, and how it impacts policies, processes and costs.  Things never get easier, they get more complex.  And with complexity comes time, error and expense.  Time to get your inventory manager hat on, and get to work.