The Association of High Tech Distributors asked me to do a presentation last fall on the future of automation. I put together a talk on some industry trends. One trend of which was the Internet of Things and what impact that technology would have on manufacturing.

The question came up at one of the sessions, “How do we make money from that trend?”

Ouch! I had not thought that one through having focused only on the technology.

Over the ensuing few months, I’ve had several other conversations about business opportunities involving the Internet of Things.

It’s a challenging question. I think the components of IoT involve:

  • smarter sensors
  • less expensive sensors
  • connectivity (wired, wireless)
  • data historians, including the cloud
  • analytics / pattern recognition
  • improved human interface

So, who stands to make money here? Where will users buy this? Will we need more integrators? OEMs need more networking expertise? What do you think?

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