With all the hype it\u2019s getting, you might think the Internet of Things (IoT) simply couldn\u2019t gain any more momentum. Well, think again, because new market research and a wave of global IoT investments from sovereign nations and top-name companies keeps on accelerating the IoT momentum.\nGrowth, growth and more growth\nFirst off, IHS Markit has published a new ebook in which it predicts serious growth for IoT: \u201cThe number of connected IoT devices worldwide will jump 12 percent on average annually, from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030.\u201d\nAccording to the ebook, titled \u201cThe Internet of Things: a movement, not a market,\u201d (pdf) that growth \u201cis impacting virtually all stages of industry and nearly all market areas \u2014 from raw materials to production to distribution and even the consumption of final goods.\u201d\u00a0\nOne critical impact of that: \u201cGlobal data transmissions are expected to increase from 20 to 25 percent annually to 50 percent per year, on average, in the next 15 years.\u201d\nMaybe that\u2019s why China is reportedly shifting focus from semiconductors to IoT and smart devices. According to another report, \u201cBeijing envisions spending about $150 billion over 10 years to achieve a leading position in design and manufacturing.\u201d\nSure, smart devices incorporate plenty of semiconductor processes and sensors, but the shift still seems significant.\nThe ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also interested in IoT. His Smart Dubai Plan 2021 calls for leveraging IoT to help transition to a completely paperless government.\nThe worlds biggest players scramble to invest in IoT\nAt the same time, big-name companies around the world are ramping up their own IoT initiatives.\nDell is creating a new IoT\u00a0division and opening IoT labs in locations around the world. The new division will be headed by Ray O\u2019Farrell, the chief technology officer of VMware, and funded with a $1 billion R&D budget over three years to develop. It\u2019s charter? To create new, more productive IoT products to work with Dell\u2019s existing portfolio. A new IoT partner program aimed at predictive analytics is also in the works.\n\nBut Dell\u2019s billion is a drop in the bucket compared to China\u2019s Alibaba Group, which plans to spend $15 billion over three years on research and development in several areas, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing and, of course, IoT. Like Dell, it plans to open a series of global research labs in China, Russia and the United States.\nNew focus on IoT from Samsung, Salesforce and Toshiba\nAnd at the Samsung Developer Conference 2017, the company said it is combining three IoT services into a single IoT platform. SmartThings, Samsung Connect, and\u00a0ARTIK\u00a0will be folded into the SmartThings Cloud, designed to offer developers a single, open hub for all Samsung IoT devices. The centerpiece is a single cloud API across all SmartThings-compatible products.\nSalesforce, for its part, recently re-energized it IoT efforts with the launch of the IoT Cloud Explorer Edition. It\u2019s designed to make it easier for non-technical folks to understand and use IoT data and devices. Of course, the idea is to help users incorporate that data into other Salesforce products, including the Salesforce Service Cloud, which debuted in 2015.\nToshiba, meanwhile, says it will boost its IoT R&D team by 50 percent in the next three years. The company plans to hire an additional 500 people to bring the team at Toshiba Digital Solutions to 1,500.\nI could go on and on, but you get the picture. The world\u2019s biggest players are convinced IoT is the future, and they\u2019re investing serious capital to make sure they stay relevant as the market mushrooms.