As developers create more powerful, complex technologies capable of Internet integration and promising an easier way, it is up to small businesses to lead the way in implementation. Huge corporations don't have the same existential concerns that many small companies do. As a result, those big businesses are less likely to take a chance on a new technology, preferring instead to keep things as they are until a change is proven to be beneficial.

While that may seem like the smart approach, consumers will be attracted to companies that stay ahead of the curve, that use the latest and greatest developments and that show the courage to take on cutting edge techniques. Plus, as small businesses have a manageable network and infrastructure, using new technologies would not require a massive change to the office.

One such development is the rise of the Internet of Things – a network of smart devices that can interact and provide a more customizable, efficient office or home. Now, with the Internet of Things marching forward, startup companies have taken over as the primary users. These early adopters will demonstrate the value the IoT has to the business world while they position themselves for growth.

Young companies provide a home for the IoT
A new study from Gartner revealed small, new startup companies will be integral to the progress of the Internet of Things, according to CMS Wire. The study speculated that by 2017, 50 percent of IoT systems will be implemented by companies up to three years old. Gartner recognized these companies as "maker" – in other words, they are comprised of innovators and entrepreneurs, the types of people who think progressively and look for the next solution.

Part of the ability for a small startup to adopt an IoT platform lies in their niche market and scale. Because they serve a small base of clients usually with a specific product or service, it makes more sense for these businesses to employ specialized systems. Plus, while large companies can get mired in their own politics, startups have the freedom to try new ways of operating with little to no internal opposition.

"In a sense, makers and startups are an extension of bring your own device, but are definitely taking advantage of low component costs and the ability to have open source development," Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner, said in the report, according to CMS Wire.

IoT to grow exponentially
According to Deloitte, the coming years will see a big increase in the scope of the IoT. A study indicated 75 percent of executives were exploring the potential of the IoT as they felt more pressure to remain competitive. Gartner estimated that by 2020 the IoT will reach 26 billion devices, while International Data Corporation forecast those devices connected to the Internet could generate $9 trillion in sales annually by 2020.

Even more intriguing is the thought that businesses haven't even realized the full value of the IoT. In these early stages, companies are still experimenting with the best way to implement the system in order to maximize devices' potential. That's why it is on small startups to use their pioneering mindsets to determine the best uses for the IoT. As the technology expands, more and more corporations will feel the pressure to apply the IoT to their own operations. If startups can map out the most effective implementation, they will benefit along with other businesses.

Office technology industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in office technology equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.