If there is one forecast that continually gets amended, it is that of the potential market of the Internet of Things (IoT). The International Data Corporation’s latest published analysis, titled "Internet of Things (IoT) 2013 to 2020 Market Analysis: Billions of Things, Trillions of Dollars," forecasts that the IoT technology and services spending will generate $8.9 trillion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9 percent from the $4.8 trillion total of 2012.
The IoT includes information and communications technology, hardware vendors, service providers, and systems integrators covering virtually every private and public industry in the world. While developed countries will be the first to benefit from many of the technologies used by the IoT, developing countries are quickly catching up and will contribute to the revenues at an increasingly fast pace.
The growth of the market will be driven by the development of smart products consumers use every single day as well as infrastructure. An increasingly connected culture will join an enhanced connectivity infrastructure by bringing together smart cities, houses, automobiles, and other products.
IDC (News - Alert) expects a globally installed base of IoT will reach around 212 billion things by the end of 2020, including 30.1 billion installed connected autonomous things. The end of the forecast period will see installed intelligent systems collecting data using consumer and enterprise applications.
While the technology will provide many opportunities, some issues could potentially hinder the growth of the market. These hurdles will have to be overcome by vendors and enterprises in order to see the realization of this forecast. On the supply side IDC points out the lack of standards, global scalability, and a budding ecosystem for application development will present some challenges. The demand side will be held back by the lack of awareness and IT or mobility priorities by organizations from pursuing this market. Because many key companies required in the growth of this industry have other core products and services, their participation must be encouraged.
"It is important to remember that while the market for the Internet of Things is still in its infancy, there is a long legacy of autonomous wired connected things. The enabler for increased growth over the forecast period is the pervasiveness of wireless connectivity and ubiquitous access to the Internet regardless of location," said Carrie MacGillivray, program VP of mobile services, M2M and network infrastructure.
While the demand for IoT is growing, it is important to understand the industry is still very young. The move to a wireless connected world is inevitable, and this technology is essential in order to use the available resources on the planet more efficiently for a population that is growing at an exponential rate.
Edited by Alisen Downey