Get Set For IoT Revolution In 2020

by Sohini Bagchi    Nov 10, 2014

internet of things

The year 2020 is likely to be a revolutionary one for Internet of Things (IoT), believe experts, which at present is an evolving ecosystem that includes almost any form of technology capable of connecting to the Internet. The phenomenal growth in cloud services and number of Internet-connected devices is expected to drive the IoT market globally to $3.04 trillion in 2020, says research firm IDC.

Gartner has also mentioned in an earlier report that the IoT is expected to reach 26 billion installed units by 2020, up from 0.9 billion just five years ago, and will impact the way industries and their leaders will function. Another report by consulting firm iDate too suggested that by 2020, a well over 80 billion objects are likely to be connected to the Internet. It says that nearly 15 billion things (machines, connected devices and objects) were connected to the Internet in 2012, up from 4 billion in 2010. These numbers suggest that the market is set for a big leap in the years to come.

The IoT boom

IDC which was always upbeat about IoT estimated the market to be $1.3 trillion in 2013, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% to reach $3.04 trillion in the next 5 years. The installed and connected base of IoT units will reach approximately 30 billion by the same time, it says.

The huge growth will be driven by factors such as proliferation of smartphones, tablets, wearable techs and other connected devices as well as greater availability of bandwidth and elements that are being embedded in modern devices such as sensors, image recognition and NFC technologies.

The opportunities presented by IoT are driving widespread attention among both traditional and non-traditional IT vendors looking to take advantage of the emerging revenue opportunities, said IDC’s Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer, Network, Telecom and IoT Research.

Turner believes when IoT moves beyond the hype and promise, a variety of vendor strategies and key players will emerge to find success in meeting customers’ needs as well as growing new revenue streams from this net new market opportunity.

While IoT is still in its early stages of maturation it will ultimately impact every industry verticals and segments including the government, consumer, and enterprise environments, believes IDC.

Researches believes that the IoT market will be driven by multiple industries including automotive, aeronautics, energy, food and retail, connected home and healthcare. On the revolutionary growth, Amitabh Ray, MD, Ericsson Global Services,  comments that 2020 will indeed be a landmark year for the Internet of Things as connectivity will be present everywhere. “There will be connection between your mobile phone, alarm clock, geyser, vacuum cleaner, microwave and all the devices that we use in our daily lives,” he says.

In such a scenario, there will be no one leader in this market, says the analyst firm.“The market will rely on partnerships, federation, and innovative services to create truly valuable IoT solutions,” IDC Vice President, IoT and Mobile Service and Infrastructure, Carrie MacGillivray said in a blog post.

Privacy and security

While Gartner too sees a huge growth in connected devices, predicting a 30-fold increase in Internet-connected physical devices by 2020, it also sees sufficient risks in the process, especially that of information access and cyber-risk exposure. “It’s important to put IoT maturity into perspective, because of the fast pace at which it is emerging, so supply chain strategists need to be looking at its potential now,” said Michael Burkett, managing vice president at Gartner. 

Forrester too reveals that nearly 50% of respondents believe that privacy and security are the biggest concerns in the adoption of IoT. 

Andrew Rose, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, mentions that there is an increased risk of data to be stolen or compromised when deploying emerging technologies such as IoT. “Companies should have a security policy in place to identify targets, evolve key security control, add newer delivery mechanisms and review their security scenario frequently,” he writes in a blog.

However, security and other challenges cannot stop IoT from reaching its heights. By 2016, analysts believe over half of the companies globally will implement IoT-related technologies in some form or the other and in 2020 IoT rules may have to be rewritten.