The Internet of Things is really a living network of machines.  As an IT community, we’ve done a fantastic job of connecting people to people and people to data.

The next wave is really connecting machines to machines and machines to data. An estimated 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. That’s a massive number. And that’s going to include everything from consumer gadgets to jet engines to power plants.

"Every sector from healthcare to the industrial giants is going to be transformed by the advent of big data and IoT."

Intelligent machines

Many of these devices are going to be what we call intelligent machines. We’re talking about advanced machines with sensors and the ability to perceive their own performance and understand the external environment around them, while at the same time improving their own efficiency. If big industrial machines can predict failures and prevent downtime, millions of dollars can be saved on a weekly basis.

Every sector from healthcare to the industrial giants is going to be transformed by the advent of big data and IoT. And, for such a revolutionary technology, it is interesting that, globally, no country is yet a clear leader in this space. Canada is well positioned to become that leader. Canada’s academic institutions are globally respected, and we have an excellent IT industry. There is no reason why we can’t develop the solutions that will then be exported worldwide.