The Internet of Things has the potential to transform the data center, according to a new report from Gartner Inc. The firm estimates that the IoT will include 26 billion Internet-connected physical devices installed by 2020, and by that time IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services.

"IoT deployments will generate large quantities of data that need to be processed and analyzed in real time," Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "Processing large quantities of IoT data in real time will increase as a proportion of workloads of data centers, leaving providers facing new security, capacity and analytics challenges.

The IoT connects remote assets and provides a data stream between the asset and centralized management systems, the report notes. Those assets can then be integrated into new and existing organizational processes to provide information on status, location, functionality and other areas. Real-time information enables a more accurate understanding of status and potentially enhances productivity through more accurate decision support. Business and data analytics give insights into the business requirements data feed from the IoT environment and will help predict the fluctuations of IoT-related data and information, Gartner says.

"The enormous number of devices, coupled with the sheer volume, velocity and structure of IoT data, creates challenges, particularly in the areas of security, data, storage management, servers and the data center network, as real-time business processes are at stake," Joe Skorupa, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "Data center managers will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management in these areas to be able to proactively meet the business priorities associated with IoT."