When IoT was first introduced in 1999 by Kevin Anton to promote RFID technology, it garnered significant interest for pushing the concept of ‘talking and connected’ devices beyond the science fiction novels.
Even today, IoT adoption carries similar amount of interest as well as resistance by enterprises and businesses across industries. According to the statistical data from Statista research, the total number of connected devices exceeds our population back in 2008! In another two years, this number is expected to touch 50 billion mark and will impact savings and profit worth 19 trillion USD on IoT investment.
IoT has already gained traction in the healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, logistics, retail and consumer wearable space. But many businesses are yet to experience first-hand the advantages that IoT can offer.
A part of the reason behind the slow adoption could be the perceived ‘hype’ and implications associated with hyper-connectivity. Another probable reason behind the passivity is the lack of bandwidth and know-how needed for implementing IoT devices for better energy management, streamlined workflows and performance optimization.
Interestingly, a research pointed out that even though smart device adoption is likely to surge, many consumers (almost 87 percent) are still unaware of the meaning and concept of IoT! But this glaring difference does not persist in the business and enterprise space. Major IT giants and leaders including Google and Samsung are acquiring smaller IoT companies to facilitate the demand. While companies like AT&T, AWS, Bosch, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu and GE are accelerating the IoT/ Industry 4.0 movement by partnering with industry heavy weights and rolling out their own products.
Before we dive deep into the promises that IoT devices has in store, below are some of the quick facts and stats about the IoT industry:
- IoT penetration is more rampant in manufacturing, healthcare and business than in the consumer IoT space. (Refer Statista research for more details)
- By 2025, the overall worth of IoT tech will be 6.2 trillion USD. And healthcare and manufacturing industries will generate maximum value of 2.5 trillion USD and 2.3 trillion USD, respectively.
- Almost 94 percent of businesses that adopted IoT have managed to find returns from IoT investments.
- The number of connected cars and vehicles is expected to increase up to 90 percent by 2020.
- The market for connected home devices is likely to surpass the growth rate of wearable devices market and by 2019, more than 75 percent of consumers would purchase IoT devices for their homes. Smart thermostats top the list of IoT connected home devices and gadgets for project adoption rates of 43 percent in the next five years.
- The wearable technology market is also expected to witness a drastic growth rate of 31 percent with nearly 5 million IoT devices released to market by 2020.
- The number of RFID tags will also increase from 17.6 billion (2018) to 24.5 billion by 2020.
- The number of devices powered with M2M (machine to machine) communication technology will expand from 1.5 billion to 2.6 billion between 2018 and 2020.
The statistical findings suggest the value that IoT can add businesses in number of ways including:
- Data Sharing and Analysis: The most meaningful impact of IoT is the amount of data generated through connected devices that can be collected and analysed to track and consumer’s daily activities, device interaction patterns and behaviors. These insights are useful for device manufacturers and IoT device inventors to build products that drive businesses to make decisions for better user experience, profitability and intelligent usage of relevant consumer data.
- Device Interaction and Less Manual Intervention: The time has now come to make remote working and access, a reality through the adoption of IoT devices and IoT solutions. This would be a great relief for organizations that are looking to reduce operational and administrative expenses and promote a productive and happier workplace by allowing work-from home access and monitoring of device activities from remote locations.
- Smarter Inventory Management: For retail and supply chain businesses, there has always been major conundrums related to tracking and managing inventories and logistics. With IoT software development and implementation of IoT solutions that automatically keep tab of physical movement of goods from storage units and warehouses, organizations can free their manual labor from daunting and cognitively tasking inventory work that always have scope for errors.
- Error-free and Real-time Reporting: In factory floors, manufacturing units and even in enterprise scenarios, IoT devices keep the users virtually connected with data that allows them to track anomalies and report errors in real-time even while working from remote locations.
- Increased Efficiency and Profitability: Organizations can find relief with connected devices and leveraging M2M technology to control machinery and equipment without risking manual laborers to perform dangerous tasks. IoT devices are also useful for field-service organization in remote monitoring locations and ensuring error-free execution of tasks for better efficiency and productivity.
- Increase Sustainability: It is also the responsibility of businesses to ensure their investments do not have detrimental impacts on the environment. IoT devices like smart thermostats and sensor-embedded gadgets can be installed in production and factory floors as well as homes to track temperature change and enable smart usage of energy resources to avoid wastages. Implementing end-to-end IoT devices for planning smart cities and building smarter homes can help create a strategy for energy management with minimal operational disruption.
IoT has been grabbing the headlines with new innovative products being rolled out in the market. From our alarm clock that push alerts to coffee machine to prepare our morning Cuppa to smart gadgets for prediction and control of agricultural activities, IoT presents a huge opportunity.
But, IoT alone is like an incomplete equation that requires collaboration of AI and machine learning technology to disrupt lives and businesses with hyper-connectivity.
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