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The Scramble For IoT: Market Growth And Projections

The idea of having devices connected to the internet is one that has been around for decades, since the 1970s. Connected devices were known as the ‘embedded internet’ or ‘pervasive computing’. However, over the years, as humans have become more dependant on machines and data, IoT technology has developed. So much so, that the rise of the Internet of Things has prompted a fourth industrial revolution. Which is fundamentally altering the way we live, work and relate to both one another and the things around us.

The first industrial revolution saw water and steam power used to mechanize production. The second introduced electric power to enable mass production. Number three brought on the use of electronics and information technology to automate production. Finally, we find ourselves in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. Where we are building on the third and taking automation beyond anything we could ever have predicted.

Now, the possibilities for Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things are endless. We can now have billions of people connected by mobile devices with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity and access to knowledge. In fact, between 2013 and 2017, adoption of IoT rose by 17%. IoT is taking the world by storm with a third of businesses using IoT technologies as of 2017.

The widespread adoption of IoT

To get everyone is up to speed: essentially, the Internet of Things refers to business processes and applications that use sensory information. In addition to this, IoT generates data and insight using interconnected and uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices that exist within the internet infrastructure. A bit different from water and steam power, isn’t it?

From a survey conducted by Vodafone in 2017, all businesses who had adopted IoT technologies into their operations found that they were able to cut costs, reduce risk, increase revenue and, most importantly, increase efficiency. Respondents of the survey stated “IoT adoption is crucial to driving digital transformation”, a message we’ve been touting for some time. IoT’s widespread impact is the reason why companies are on track to spend around $5 trillion on the IoT industry over the next 3-4 years.

In an article published by Forbes last year, it was predicted that, between 2016 and 2020, the global IoT market would grow from $157 billion to $457 billion. Giving the technology a compound annual growth rate of 28.5% P.A. The article also stated that, according to Growth Enabler and Markets analysis, the global IoT market share would be dominated by three sub-sectors; Smart Cities at 26%, Industrial IoT at 24% and Connected Health at 20%.

Furthermore, according to advisory firm, Bain, business-to-business IoT segments will also generate more than $300 billion annually by 2020. Yes, annually. This is also inclusive of about  $85 billion in the industrial sector.

So, why now?

Well, where there is supply, there is generally demand. The need for interconnectivity and interoperability for companies, as well as smart cities, has increased over recent years. Therefore, a platform that offers seamless connectivity to the internet, a digitally connected technology that allows for advanced energy systems, smarter roads and homes, and greener buildings, is the answer to everyone’s prayers.

Although IoT technology is still in its infancy, it has already proven it has the potential to drive business, technology and economic growth significantly. Plus, the rapid growth and urbanisation that is happening all over the world mean that our technological environment needs to be able to accommodate this growth. Therefore, having access to devices, services and solutions which offer interconnectivity and interoperability is something that has and will continue to enhance the quality of life factors as well as increase productivity in the workplace.

The concept of global connectivity is an exciting one at that. Not to mention the jobs it creates. It also reduces risk and provides seamless communication, access to information, savings, data analysis and advanced functionalities.

Benefits of IoT

Ericsson, a Multinational networking and telecommunications company, predicts that by the end of 2018 the number of IoT devices will surpass the number of mobile phones. With this kind of astronomical growth in the IoT solutions, there is a high demand for something that works. So far, it’s clear the number one solution is the Internet of Things. Now, we know that it is not without its challenges. However, it’s predicted that there will be about 50 billion IoT devices by 2020. This is a clear indicator that the benefits are worth overcoming the challenges.

The main benefits of the Internet of Things and the reason companies are adopting the technology so rapidly include automation and control, communication, data visualisation, smart cities, cost-efficiency, safety, better decision making and revenue generation, to name a few.

Automation and control

The Internet of Things allows for multiple devices to all be connected at once. Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities to have industry processes almost entirely automated. There is ever-increasing competitiveness within the industry. Therefore having consistent, high-quality products with a competitive price is vital for a company’s bottom line. One thing that is keeping many companies ahead of the game is the use of industrial automation.

Having all your devices and equipment connected to each other as well as the one main control centre means that you can automate your processes and still oversee operations as well as allow for humans to work more efficiently.

Communication

The Internet of Things encourages communication between devices. Therefore, as each physical device can remain connected, this machine-to-machine communication helps to maintain transparency in the processes. Also, producing a much clearer line of communication between the devices prompts fewer inefficiencies and simultaneously increases quality.

Data Visualisation

Data is an integral part of any business. Therefore, the ability to view and analyse it in a more visual context is a significant advantage. The human brain is incapable of processing more than one thing at a time. So, when it comes to processing the hundreds, thousands and millions of values that come through with a company’s data, it’s more beneficial to be able to look at data in a way that allows you to pick up specific complexities that may have otherwise been skipped over. This also facilitates more relevant and efficient decision making.

Smart city technology

Smart cities use data and IoT technology to create certain efficiencies within a city. These efficiencies increase the quality of life factors. Currently, cities consume about 75% of the world’s resources and energy. They also generate 80% of greenhouse gasses. This happens even though they only occupy 2% of the world’s territory. Therefore, a form of technology that improves sustainability, creates economic development, increases energy efficiency and reduces public spending is a win-win for both humans and the environment.

Cost efficiency

Another advantage of IoT technology is that it allows for you to run your business a lot more cost-efficiently. Although the Internet of Things technology is still young, it is enabling businesses to save in many ways. Companies are able to maximise real-time inventory management practices as well as monitor inventory levels. Meaning a business would only reorder stock when it is essential rather than over or under buying.

An IoT platform could also eliminate the need for costly consultants and personnel. This is because organisations can invest in sensors to keep track of things like temperature and air quality, driving speeds, and employee compliance.

When it comes to maintenance and repairs, IoT technology tracks in near real-time. It then alerts managers if something is not running as it should. This helps eliminate any unnecessary downtime. It also allows for a company to make minor repairs when things start to go wrong rather than having to make major repairs down the track.

Safety

When it comes to jobs in mining and other heavy asset industries, there is a certain level of risk and hazard that comes with the job. With IoT technology continually monitoring the operations of equipment, reducing the risk of human error, using real-time data to ensure accuracy, and using industrial technology that allows humans and machines to interact with each other in smart factories without any incidents, the level of workplace health and safety of employees is increased dramatically.

Better decision making and revenue generation

As with data visualisation, the use of Internet of Things technology allows for managers to make more accurate, timely and effective decisions. The accuracy of IoT takes assumptions off the table. Instead, it gives you access to data-backed visibility into every aspect of your business. The scope of this visibility can also give you insights and ideas into various system behaviours. This then allows managers to take advantage of business-defining opportunities that they may have otherwise missed out on.

Being able to make better, faster and smarter business decisions will naturally have a positive impact on the overall productivity of your company. However, when it comes to the revenue of your company, the most significant benefit of IoT will likely lie in your ability to create new business functions.

Essentially, it is the uniqueness, scope and efficiency of the Internet of Things that has prompted the technology to develop and grow as rapidly as it has and will continue to do so for years to come.

The importance of choosing the right IoT platform

Choosing the right IoT provider is a complex endeavour. Essentially, your IoT platform is an integrated service that offers you the tools you need to connect your business. You need a platform that is capable of supporting millions of device connections. It should also allow you to easily configure your devices to allow for effective intercommunication. And it needs to do this simultaneously. Doesn’t sound overly simple, does it? Well, that’s because it’s not.

We’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s quite hard to build a well-functioning IoT product. So, when you find a platform that can do it, stick with them. That’s where IoT.nxt comes in. We’ve been preparing for the rapid deployment of Internet of Things technology by developing scalable, easily transferrable technology and you can trust us when we say we know what we’re doing.

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