We recently wrapped up a spectacular Internet of Things World Forum 2014 (IoTWF) in Chicago.  By reviewing the highlights, it’s clear that the Internet of Things is here, it’s now… it’s big, and it’s bold. And by all accounts, IoT is advancing multiple times faster than any other technology movement in history.

More than 1,500 thought and industry leaders shared visions and real-world use cases of IoT adoption and advancement, ranging from mining and oil and gas operations to caring for the elderly with remote- and self-controlled robots. Our second annual event featured 13 keynotes and 36 workshops laser focused on setting a strong foundation for IoT developments, encompassing security, standards, protocols, governance models and much more.

We had an opportunity to hear from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, and CIO Brenna Berman, who in addition to their hospitality shared with us their goal of establishing Chicago as THE IoT Center for cities.

Participants learned that while IoT gets most of the current buzz from consumer-driven products, more rapid growth and value are shifting rapidly to enterprise-wide applications that already have improved operational performance and efficiency. Today, 37% of total device (things) connections to the Internet come from industrial applications, and industrial connections will surpass consumer-based connections in 2017.

Helping to lead the revolution taking place in industrial applications for IoT are Shell, Rio Tinto, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Intel, Zebra, Freescale, AirWatch and AGT to name just a few of the firms who recognize the business outcomes made possible by this new solution.

During 2014 IoTWF, the cross-industry Steering Committee announced a series of key initiatives to advance the technology, industry ecosystem, talent and education required to move the industry to wide-scale deployment.

They also unveiled a new IoT Reference Model that will serve as a common framework to help industries accelerate development of IoT deployments. It provides practical suggestions on how to address the challenges of scalability, interoperability, agility and legacy compatibility faced by many organizations seeking to implement IoT systems today.

IOTWF wim post

Additionally, we launched an industry talent consortium with our partners from The New York Academy of Sciences, MIT, Stanford, Careerbuilder, Rockwell Automation, Davra Networks, GE, Xerox, Udacity, Pearson, and Knod to help fill the projected skills gap of 2 million engineers who will need specialized training over the coming decade to help realize the value of IoT.

We also addressed impediments that could slow IoT progress, including the urgent needs to develop partner ecosystems, stimulate entrepreneurialism and creative financing models.  We also discussed critical issues around security, privacy and how developers and manufacturers must standardize identification protocols and communications networks before IoT and the Internet of Everything can reach their full potential.

IoT serves as the technology foundation in the continuing technology evolution toward the  Internet of Everything (IoE),  which is the intelligent networked connection among people, process, data AND things. IoT is an $8 trillion opportunity; IoE promises $19 trillion in global economic value over the next decade if we establish the right building blocks for widespread adoption.

IoT and IoE are both about creating a more connected world to improve nothing less than global sustainability and quality of life.

Through the help of our sponsors and partners, IoTWF has emerged as the essential IoT forum for visionaries, thought and industry leaders to learn from each other about current and future opportunities and to establish the agenda for the future.

We also announced that the 2015 Internet of Things Forum will be held in Dubai, UAE one of the world’s fastest growing and most forward-looking cities. I have no doubt that even greater IoT and IoE progress will have been achieved by then, and Dubai will prove to accelerate the momentum even more.

Twitter: @wimelfrink


Wim Elfrink

Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief

Globalisation Officer