Semantic technology will have a starring role in the Internet of Things. Supporting interoperability between heterogeneous IoT entities, playing a part in driving much-needed application agility and adaptability through model-driven computing, and helping businesses cope with understanding and analyzing the influx of Big, and often unstructured, Data generated not just by humans but now by devices – all provide use cases for semantic tech.

And it’s becoming increasingly clear that semantic tech will be playing a role in what should be a very major motion picture. Just recently released is a new market research report entitled, Internet of Things Market & Machine-To-Machine Communication Market – Advanced Technologies, Future Cities & Adoption Trends, Roadmaps & Worldwide Forecasts (2012 – 2017). The report, published by Markets and Markets, notes that the IoT and M2M communications market will reach $290.0 Billion by 2017, at a CAGR of 30.1 percent.

In 2011 the market was worth just $44 billion. Public safety, urban security, retail, telecom and IT, and transportation are the major target groups to leverage IOT and M2M. The report cites Latin America, the Middle East and Africa as high-growth markets, while Europe, APAC, and North America regions are still classified as being in the emerging market stage. Wherever one sits on the world stage, though, the report notes that IoT and M2M communication is projected to be the fastest growing technology segments of the IT sector in the next three to five years, with significant potential investments from companies to secure their computing environment.

Lights, Camera, …Wait a Minute

Of course, it’s not unheard of for a movie that ultimately becomes a blockbuster to hit its rough patches during production. (Cracked, for example, reports that the original Star Wars’ special effects team, after a year’s work, had only three special effects shots done at a cost of half its entire budget.)  So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that before businesses can focus on contributing to the growth of this tech segment and securing their IoT and M2M environments, they have to figure out just what IoT means to them.

Gartner, which is chiming in in advance of its Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 in October, where the Internet of Things is on the discussion agenda, says there are lots of opportunities around IoT for parties including those who can help manage and analyze the massive streams of potentially real-time information that represent huge untapped business opportunities. But today business and tech executives still have questions about how exactly IoT fits into the nuts-and-bolts work of the enteprise.

“Business leaders find the diversity of current Internet of Things applications fails to make a compelling business case to explore or commit resources to this emergent area,” said Stephen Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow in a statement. Much of the talk about IoT has a consumer-focused buzz, the research firm reports.

That said, given how IT itself has been consumerized, “skeptics would be well-advised to monitor these consumer-facing developments closely,” according to a statement by Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner.

In its just released report, The Potential Size and Diversity of the Internet of Things Mask Immediate Opportunities of IT Leaders, the firm agrees that the Internet of Things will be big, but just how big depends on how you define its parameters. What you can’t ignore in any definition, however, is that much of the value, as the research organization says, will lie “not in the device, nor even the connectivity, but in the data aggregation, data-processing and decision-making activities that take advantage of the data streams emanating from the device.”