Internet Of Things (IoT) – A Trillion Dollar Opportunity

The global Internet of Things market will grow to $1.7 trillion in 2020 from $655.8 billion in 2014, research firm IDC says, as more devices come online and a bevy of platforms and services grow up around them.


Lot is purely connecting anything and everything from physical to virtual objects by lending them an identity. As simple idea as it seems, as complex and far reaching its implications can be. It seems obvious that with such a paradigm, anything and everything can be monitored, controlled and acted upon. It would seem to be that the entire world in both physical and virtual manifestations is just one computer. And as in a computer, it would be the software that will drive the performance on the underlying hardware. This would drive greater investments in the software area; leading to higher R&D, newer tools and thus enabling new business models in propelling the IoT paradigm further.

Market Overview

The latest technology buzzword that is all around is Internet of Things (IoT). As a term it has transcended the industry to have gained a momentum with the general consumers as well. In one of the thought provoking pieces from Jeremy Rifkin on the Zero Marginal Cost society, IoT seems to be an inevitable cog in this wheel of technology transformation.

The good news is that the IoT is as of now not just a concept; applications of IoT can already be seen in the market place and while we are still in the early nascent stage, all the signs are there to forecast a major paradigm shift moving forward.

Market Drivers

The key drivers for IoT include the following

  • Ubiquitous data connectivity together with decreasing cost of carrying data
  • Specialization and rapidly falling prices of underling technology – devices, controllers, sensors etc.
  • Increasing maturity of the data management and analytical tools to store and process data and device meaningful insights from that

Market Restraints

At the same time, there are certain market restraints that the IoT needs to overcome; some of the key ones are as follows

  • Business case as is true for such concepts on the early stage; many enterprises are not able to financially articulate the RoI  well
  • Given the early days, the standardization is another major issue plaguing the industry
  • Fragmentation of the supply side and need for multiple capabilities leading to lack of end to end solutioning by a provider

Technology Trends

Number of technologies need to come together to enable IoT and these range across sectors as follows

  • Connectivity: fixed and wireless
  • Sensing: Wireless technologies like Wi-Fi, RFID, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z-wave and cellular
  • Data storage and management
  • Identity management
  • Data Analytics
  • Device management
  • Security solutions
  • Charging and billing
  • Automation
  • Monitoring and control

As one can note, a lack of standardization across so many multiple technologies has the potential of making plug and play solutions very difficult; it could be easier for propriety solutions to be delivered which however have cost and upgrade limitations.

Other Key Market Trends

Adoption Trends

The early adoption of IoT has been seen in the Logistics and transportation sector; this has been driven by the fact that it is an easier demonstration of RoI together with an ability to have quick wins. Fleet management for example using IoT can provide immediate RoI to the fleet owners.

From a consumer perspective, the areas of Wearables together with connected homes and cars are in the lead in terms of adoption as of now.

However, as IoT matures, other industry verticals like manufacturing, healthcare, would begin to garner a greater share of the adoption of IoT.

Market Size and Forecast

There are a range of market forecasts at this time coming in from different sources including analyst firms and industry participants. It seems that while there is an agreement on the magnitude of IoT there is a difference of opinion in terms of the order of this magnitude. Since the forecasts seem to resemble a typical hockey stick curve, the difference in forecasts can be attributed to the point in time, the various forecasters have used in looking at IoT crossing the chasm from early adopters to early majority.

It can be argued that the actual forecast number is a moot point; the key message is that the market is going to be huge and that the impact is going to be significantly enormous on the entire technology landscape thus impacting consumer and business life styles.

Internet of Things

Key Market Players

Given the nature of the industry and the potential impact, the players present in the IoT landscape transcend industries and capabilities. Understanding players from the ICT ecosystem include the hardware manufacturers, service providers, System Integrators and software companies; but there is an increasing presence of companies from automation, sensor, controller areas and companies with core capabilities in the industry verticals that are in the adoption phase of IoT.

Some of the leading industry participants who have either defined the space, have a strategy and have reference cases include

  • Cisco Systems: Based on its core switching and routing products, Cisco Systems focus in for plants, field network equipment, embedded and wide area networking plus vide and image surveillance. Cisco IOx, part of Cisco’s multi-layer IoT platform, brings intelligent compute and open connectivity to the network edge, placing them closer to where data is being collected and real-time decisions made. This application architecture framework accelerates solution performance in an open, flexible, and manageable way, to inspire new business models for innovative, agile, and efficient operations.
  • HP: HP’s strategy for IoT enables the ecosystem middleware, which allows the interchange of machine data to be monetized, creating a digital economy. Specifically, we provide the cloud-based platforms that expose interfaces for the machines themselves, interfaces for the applications and services that want to consume the machine data, and finally interfaces that allow the analysis and reporting on the machine data. This approach leverages HP’s considerable expertise in high-volume data management, processing and analysis coupled with our specific expertise in mobile networks and the CSP environment. integration and in IT services, IBM’s solutions centre around intelligent operations centre, mobile first platforms, and Message sight MQTT appliance. IBM also offers IT consulting and development services for the full implementation lifecycle of IoT and mobile solutions, making full use of cloud software- and platform-as-a-service architectures.
  • GE: The focus of GE solutions is around middle ware architecture to support vertical specific solutions, and monitoring and analysis software suite.
  • Bosch: The Bosch solution focuses on business process management, business rules management solutions and device management through M2M software. Bosch has recently announced the formation of a new company, Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions, that will supply electronic components and software designed to add intelligence to and web-enable a wide range of devices. It will initially focus on sensor-based applications for the smart home
  • Samsung: Samsung Business is a new brand and combines Samsung’s Knox for security and enterprise mobility management, Smart Signage, and printing. Samsung offers industry-specific solutions for retail, education, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, and financial services.
  • Intel: Intel IoT Platform, focused on a horizontal approach to building an interoperable ecosystem for the IoT. The platform aims to simplify connectivity and increase security of data to and from from IoT devices, two key areas that need considerable improvement to scale deployment of IoT devices and networks
  • Microsoft: The approach of Microsodt  is when smart devices capture data and relay it to back-end systems and services via the cloud, data is turned into valuable insight for the business. This process is repeated over and over every day by billions of smart devices within intelligent systems, and it’s really about taking the academic theory of IoT and making it actionable for business.
  • AT&T: AT&T has IoT solutions in areas like fleet management, cargo management, energy management, connected cars, M2X data service and M2M platform



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