Some 4.9 billion connected “things” will be in use in 2015, up 30% from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020, according to recent research from Gartner Inc. The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a powerful force for business transformation, the firm says, and its disruptive impact will be felt across all industries and all areas of society.

“The digital shift instigated by the Nexus of Forces—cloud, mobile, social and information—and boosted by IoT, threatens many existing businesses,” Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “They have no choice but to pursue IoT, like they’ve done with the consumerization of IT.”

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