By 2020 there will be over 25 billion connected devices operational on this planet, averaging at approximately four devices per person. The global increase in urbanisation is influencing the way we use these technological devices and many other things within the environment. The devices are embedded with chips and sensors to gain an understanding of how the user experience can possibly be enhanced through operating various tasks more efficiently. The increasing technological capabilities of smartphones and internet-enabled devices matched by the increasing requirement of internet connectivity will be the conduits for the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) market internationally. The orchestration of middleware now enables the performance of collaborative tasks using a multitude of devices or human to device that are not necessarily associated with each other. This appetite by consumers to take advantage of these advancements within the manufacturing IT and electronic sectors intensifies the demand for IoT. The internet connects all elements via existing Bluetooth, 3G and 4G or forthcoming 5G (expected in 2020) with the virtualisation of data derived through these interactions.
The IoT market is expected to reach USD 724.2 Billion by 2023, with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) expected to increase 13.2% during the forecast period 2016-2023 globally. Different market segments will contribute to the IoT on different levels. The consumers enthusiastic adoption of IoT appliances and devices will inevitably contribute to positive growth in business worldwide with significant participants, such as the Asia-Pacific region that is already an advanced player in IoT consumer electronics with companies such as Philips and Samsung. The IoT is growing in its importance to both industry and governments with smart city considerations, remote monitoring systems and internet enabled connectivity requirements devices offering sustainability and efficiency. Wide-scale availability and diversity in technological devices are providing ease to the consumers to adopt latest technology. Increasing tech savvy population across the globe is increasing the demand for Internet of Things (IoT) globally (see https://recap-project.eu/news/internet-of-things-and-retail/).
Industries like the automotive and transport, healthcare, manufacturing, wearables and others that are making good business sense of the IoT. In the smart home or building sectors, intelligent thermostats and security systems are receiving a lot of attention, while smart energy applications focus on smart electricity, gas and water, allowing society avail of a more sustainable and cost-effective way of consuming utilities.
Businesses are realising tangible financial returns as a result. For example, AT&T has increased its revenue by introducing a ‘Connected Car’, a service offering 4G for a monthly subscription of $10 in partnership with a number of car manufacturers, such as Audi, GM and Volvo. Verizon is saving more than 55 million kWh annually across 24 data centres by deploying hundreds of sensors and control points throughout the data centre, connected wirelessly. The result is a reduction of 66 million pounds of greenhouse gases per year.
- Transportation – Increased safety and a reduction in pollution due to real-time traffic alerts, vehicle diagnostics and predictive driving or commuting behaviour
- Healthcare – Transmission of data, improved monitoring of remote patients as well as staff and equipment
- Infrastructure – Traffic management, efficiency with smart lighting, power, cooling, and emergency systems
- Manufacturing – Enhanced agility to respond to changing supply and demand, predictive maintenance resulting in increased productivity
- Retail – Improved customer satisfaction by analysing data regarding supply chain, integrated customer service and e-commerce efficiency
- Utilities – Use of smart meters and grids resulting in savings and reduced energy consumption
- Wearables – Consumer well-being tracking physical activities and mobile health and safety patient monitoring
Market opportunities await
Firms existing business models may have to be adapted or re-defined based on a new positioning of products in the IoT, perhaps entire industry boundaries may need to be re-assessed as competition starts to shift and look to capitalise on data now made available. The IoT multi-dimensional business models are giving and receiving feedback from digital devices via automation, predictive computing and edge computing and becoming a living agile business model based on data received. The decision to adapt to this new disruptive form of technology is inevitable as it is the new reality of how we live, work, communicate and conduct business.