Devices and objects that are networked via the Internet are now part of everyday life for us. For many people smart speakers and fitness bracelets have become indispensable - so why the question, when the Internet of Things finally grow up?

The Internet of Things is sort of the Internet of tomorrow and will link everything in the world together. While we use things like Alexa, Fitbit, or Nest on a daily basis, we're still a long way from a truly connected world.

To understand why the IT is not yet fully developed, let's take a look at its life cycle.

Gartner defines five levels that describe how mature the Internet of Things is. With their help it is possible to judge how far the companies have already come and what lies ahead of them.

These five levels are:

  • initialization
  • exploration
  • definition
  • integration
  • optimization
     

Most companies that are currently trying to create a connected world are somewhere between Level 1 and Level 3. Many companies have just started to connect to one centralized system. The goal is to prevent processes from becoming isolated or independent of each other in the future. Businesses focus on getting to know their environment better, creating a business landscape that is even more data driven.

From the fourth stage - integration - we will be able to observe the real impact of a mature IT.

Businesses will begin integrating their IoT projects into their overall corporate strategy. This turning point will make the Internet of Things grow up.

What does a mature Internet of Things mean for the average consumer?

A networked future is about more than just smart kitchen appliances that alert you when you run out of milk. The most obvious change will be self-driving cars. The Internet of Things and the 5G network standard enable a world where cars can drive and communicate with each other on their own.

Whole cities will be equipped with sensors, from traffic lights to street signs. This will affect traffic flow, waste and pollution management and even crime prevention. A networked future means that we will always be in the immediate reach of a connected device. An idea that will fill many people with enthusiasm or with concern.

Either way, the networked future is upon us and will probably come sooner than most people think.

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