The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most talked about trends in tech and promises to connect a wide range of previously disparate devices in a revolutionary shift that will create massive opportunities for businesses and the public sector. IDC estimates that global IoT spending will reach $1.7 trillion in 2020, and a proliferation of wearable and smart technologies looks to spur a rapid increase in the amount of inter-device communication that will play a big role in the growth of Big Data. However, creating new sensors and machine to machine (M2M) communication is only part of the story.

Click through the slideshow below for a breakdown of the significance and trajectory of the IoT data boom, and how Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) are shaping what could be the next big thing in tech.