As the number of connected devices surges, the Internet of Things (IoT) is fast becoming a reality. The market is growing: it will reach $8.9 trillion by 2020, nearly double its value in 2012, according to analysts IDC.

As this growth continues, IoT has the potential to generate multiple new streams of revenue. The opportunity is huge, but it represents an entire new paradigm for business.

Industries such as healthcare, retail, logistics and manufacturing have the potential to be transformed by IoT and data analytics. The opportunity lies in the data produced by connected machines, which can then be collected, stored and analysed.

But IoT is about more than just 'Big Data'. CIOs must be proactive to establish a role in the fast-growing connected devices landscape, or their companies will be left behind.

As IoT devices and capabilities increase, it is integral that CIOs respond. The trend isn't about to go away: IDC estimates the installed base of the Internet of Things will grow to be approximately 212 billion devices globally by the end of 2020, largely driven by intelligent systems collecting data across both consumer and enterprise applications.

This huge revenue potential should put IoT at the forefront for IT. However, a lack of awareness means it is often given little priority by CIOs. It's therefore clear that education is needed: IT departments must adjust their strategies and attitudes, making IoT and big data work together.

Despite barriers to the adoption of IoT, many firms are already using its vast capabilities to their advantage. One such company is coffee chain Costa Coffee, which has launched a machine in partnership with Intel that utilises the benefits of IoT and Big Data analytics. The intelligent, self-service espresso bar generates smells, using facial recognition to collect information such as the age and gender of a user. It can then use that data to target future customers.

As Costa Coffee's machine demonstrates, one of the trends leading IoT adoption is consumerisation. Within consumerisation is the need for better analysis, improved sensors, and more connected machines.

Yet a huge amount of effort is still needed to make connected machines work. As such, there are hurdles that both vendors and enterprises will have to overcome before IoT devices can be truly utilised.

The technology is already being put in place by suppliers. Intel's new low-power Quark X1000 SoC, for example, could find its way into anything from vending machines and ATMs to portable medical devices and in-vehicle entertainment systems.

It can not be denied; the Internet of Things is coming, and CIOs must address their role before it is too late. To help you along this path, Intel’s new research report, The Data Society Manifesto, reveals nine strategies critical for society to realise the full potential of Big Data technologies.

Connected machines and data analytics have the ability to dramatically increase efficiency and revenues. However, if IT departments are not faster and more agile, it is possible that many businesses will get left behind.