2014 went by in a frenzied cacophony of Big Data as the salvation for corporate financial woes. As the year wore on, everyone got jaded by the incessant pitches from big data solution vendors, the long and excruciating conferences featuring the same speakers, and the repeated references to the same clich\u00e9d case studies.\n\n\nBut we\u2019re in 2015 now. We need a new shiny object. And we have one. It\u2019s called the Internet of Things ( IoT in short form). Event managers are busy putting together conferences devoted to this topic, technology vendors are churning out white papers and solution frameworks, research firms are writing up POV\u2019s, and even M & A activity is being justified by the \u201csynergies\u201d on \u201cIoT opportunities\u201d.\n\n\nThe arrival of a new phenomenon is usually heralded by a respected research firm that publishes an authoritative paper that becomes the reference point. Here are some highlights from a report by one of the leading research firms:\n\n\n-\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Some 4.5 Billion connected \u201cthings\u201d will be in use in 2015, and the number will rise to 20 Billion \u201cthings\u201d by 2020. That\u2019s a lot of \u201cthings\u201d \u2013 and you might ask, so what?\u00a0 You might be led to believe that you need that smart fridge at home that\u2019s going alert you to the milk running low, possibly connect to an app on your phone that will notify your local supermarket who will pull out 4 cans of non-fat milk and have them ready for you at checkout. You might even collect the milk from a drive-thru window soon, swiping your smartphone on your way out to make payment from a mobile payment app.\n\n\n-\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Some 250 million \u201cconnected\u201d cars with automated driving capabilities will be on the roads in 2020. I know, I know. I just bought a new car in December. The car is so wired up that I had to schedule a follow-up appointment just to learn how to use all the connectivity features. If I have to use all of them, I\u2019d have to be on the road a lot in my car, and I\u2019d have to be really careful about not getting distracted while I\u2019m driving. And, oh, it doesn\u2019t understand what I say, so I have to repeat everything 3 or 4 times. It\u2019s supposed to learn and get used to my accent. Well, that machine isn\u2019t learning \u2013 yet.\n\n\nWhile this Jetsonian world is taking shape, the purveyors of IoT solutions will have you believe that you have to implement their technologies immediately so that you don\u2019t become obsolete and irrelevant.\n\n\nHere are 3 reasons why I don\u2019t think the IoT business is all that it\u2019s cracked up to be, and why the hype will overhang reality by a wide margin for some time to come.\n\n\nIt\u2019s not easy to \u201cconnect\u201d things, and it\u2019s far less easy to make sense of these connections: Devices that are meant to connect to each other operate on proprietary, and sometimes conflicting, standards. This is the ugly and unsexy part of making things work together. While we have emerging protocols like zigbee for home appliances that are meant to connect devices, interoperability is a big issue that will remain a challenge for the near future. I work in healthcare, a sector in which interoperability has been the No. 1 technology issue for several years in a row.\nThe real value in connecting billions, or even millions, of \u201cthings\u201d is not simply in making the connections but in improving life, increasing productivity, and reducing transaction costs. The data integration and the application ecosystem to make this happen is a long way from coming into being. The question therefore is, how are you going to make money investing in IoT technologies? It takes a long time for these investments to be profitable \u2013 in healthcare, for instance, the meagre investments being made in population health analytics tools are expected to have a payback period of 4-5 years.\nIt\u2019s easy to overestimate public enthusiasm and support for a seamlessly connected world where everything talks to everything else. Witness the failure of Google Glass. While there are definitely some niche areas, notably healthcare, where the technology can help deliver better care and save lives in areas like the emerging practice of telemedicine, for now we\u2019re going to be spared a legion of \u2018glassholes\u2019 walking down the street talking to themselves and creepily checking you out as you pass each other.\n\n\nHaving said that, some sectors will see a more rapid adoption of IoT technologies than others, however the business case and the consumer value proposition will remain unclear for some time. \u00a0\n\n\nSo, enjoy the conferences in exotic sunny southern locations while we wait out the winter. The Internet of Things will still be waiting for you when you return to your desk.