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.   

Keith Noonan has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends and Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.