We cannot escape the massive numbers being shared every day now by industry analysts and the media when it comes to the size and growth of the Internet of Things.
Research firm IDC says the global Internet of Things market will grow to $1.7 trillion in 2020 from $655.8 billion in 2014, as more devices come online and new IoT platforms and cloud continue to emerge.
They also predict that the number of “IoT endpoints” including cars, wearables, industrial equipment, refrigerators, thermostats, security systems and everything in between will grow from 10.3 billion in 2014 to more than 29.5 billion in 2020.
Breaking down the revenue opportunities, or total addressable business market, devices, connectivity and IT services are expected to account for the majority of the global IoT market in 2020, with devices accounting for 31.8 percent of the total. The real recurring growth will come, in our opinion, from purpose-built platforms and “as a service” offerings, which is why the cloud is so important as IoT moves from Proof of Concept to the promise of commercialization.
The intersection of IoT with RTC (real time communications of the human kind) creates opportunities for new revenue streams and business models for all who invest now. These opportunities can fundamentally change the way business was traditionally done in many industries, and we’re seeing the most interest from our clients in telecom, healthcare, and public safety.
Telecom, which has traditionally been a subscription-based model for enterprises as well as retail consumers, can now move up the value chain to offer cloud-based managed services wrapped around IoT-enabled applications that integrate the value of their network and real-time communication services.
On the other hand, businesses within healthcare sector can now move to an entirely new model of subscription-based services providing 24×7 remote monitoring. They can also plug in partners across the globe that can offer appropriate assistance in case of emergencies. Connected devices with real-time communication triggered by sensors make this possible.
For manufacturing companies, integrating partners with whom they can have real-time adjustments in their commercial arrangements is a massive opportunity – we’re seeing interesting work going on here with companies including IBM, SAP, and other large systems integrators.
We’re also seeing tremendous interest in security, and strongly advise thinking through security up front, reducing or eliminating the risk of problems down the line. Very high-quality code, robust platforms, and global support for the “glue” that is so essential for securely connecting endpoints with clouds across many types is mission-critical. Companies like myDevices are creating platforms that provide for the provisioning, secure authentication onto networks and into public, private and hybrid clouds, and management of millions of devices. Where gateways have enabled human conversations to access and traverse networks, IoT gateways do the same as “identity management” technology for “things.”
There’s a Lot of Money at Stake
Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will support total services spending of USD 235 Billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015, and nearly USD 6 Trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years. While consumer IoT will play a major role, connected devices in enterprises, aka. Industrial IoT, will contribute over 60 percent of IoT spending in 2016.
As the price of sensors falls, it is becoming more feasible for businesses to connect more and more ‘end points’. And with Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity across the globe, it is now possible to wirelessly plug any device or infrastructure into the Internet.
Billions Being Invested by the World’s Largest Companies
Global tech giants including Google, IBM, and others are making significant commitments to the evolution of technologies and platforms enabling IoT solutions. Google’s Brillo and solutions that enable cloud-based deployment of IoT solutions and IBM’s Watson Platform are examples of the evolution of IoT-based solution orientation at these tech giants. Likewise, telecom giants including Vodafone, AT&T, Verizon, and many others are embracing IoT and are developing solutions that help their enterprise customers simplify deployment of IoT-based solutions.
Communications Service Providers are extremely well positioned to go to market well beyond connectivity but with experience in building and managing massive enterprise systems for the “distributed IoT” – bringing together local IoT solutions into a common cloud and enabling secure, real-time management of the largest implementations – with the huge advantage of blending machine and human communications, new services that are monetizing decades of investment in all-IP global networks. Fully engineered and fully managed solutions are key to the “telecom” industries competitiveness – and none of this is possible without RTC and IoT clouds. Connecting them? Exponential opportunities to create value.