Global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will reach 1.6 zettabytes annually by 2018, an increase of almost 300% compared to 2013, according to a new report by Cisco. Projected annual IP traffic in 2018 will be greater than all IP traffic that has been generated globally from 1984-2013 - during which 1.3 zettabytes of IP traffic was created.

Global IP traffic will reach 132 exabytes per month by 2018, the report states. This amount of data is equivalent to 4.5 trillion YouTube clips or 940 quadrillion text messages.

The study suggests that the majority of the traffic will originate on devices other than PCs and that wireless traffic will exceed wired traffic for the first time. By 2018, 57% of IP traffic will come from devices other than PCs. Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 61% of IP traffic in five years, with Wi-Fi encompassing 49% of that traffic.

The study also says that by 2018 there will be nearly as many machine-to-machine connections (7.3 billion) as there are people on earth (7.6 billion).

Internet of Things is the future...like it or not

Research firm IDC projects technology and services revenue for the Internet of Things will increase from $4.8 trillion (£2.9 trillion, AU$5.3 trillion) in 2012 to $7.3 trillion (£4.4 trillion, AU$8.2 trillion) in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.8%. The GSMA, an organization representing 800 mobile networks, expects machine-to-machine connections to grow from 195 million connections to 250 million by the end of 2014.

Cisco recently projected 50 billion things will be connected to the internet globally by 2020, creating a $19 trillion (around £11 trillion, or au$11.9 billion) ) opportunity for businesses around the world.

Cisco is betting heavily on these survey results. The company recently said it would invest $1 billion (about £605 million, or au$1.1 billion) to build what it said would be the world's largest Intercloud network to tackle the Internet of Everything.

Or not.

Unfortunately, IT decision-makers at small-to-mid-size businesses aren’t as bullish on the Internet of Things. Seventy percent of IT decision-makers at small-to-mid-size businesses do not believe the C-Suite will increase IT spending to provide them with the resources necessary to tackle additional security problems created by the Internet of Things.

The Cisco VNI Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018 relies upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data usage studies, Cisco said in the report.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Internet of Things.