It’s a term that’s being used more frequently nowadays. The internet of things (IoT) is no longer reserved for the use of large corporations or inventors programming in their garages. You might not even know it yet, but the IoT market size has grown with such ferocity that it has already entered your life—most likely without you noticing it.
Here you can find some more information about the staggering growth produced by this relatively new technology. You might even see an opportunity to automate your own business or house.
What Is the Internet of Things?
You already know what the internet is. People use it to communicate, trade, do commerce, do research, etc. Ultimately, it’s used to send and receive information.
Today, computers, smartphones, everyday appliances, and other digital devices (all collectively known as “things” in this context) are fitted with the capability of using the internet. These things are able to send and receive information over the internet. Because of this, the internet of things’ market size has grown to cover the whole globe. Now add to that the fact that these things are also fitted with artificial intelligence (AI). This creates an endless stream of opportunities.
IoT technology reaches wherever the internet exists. If there’s 3G reception (or better), you can be sure that an IoT-based product or service will be able to operate. IoT-enabled devices (given the proper command by its user) can control other things connected to the internet. In other words, IoT technology offers a worldwide network that you can use to expand your business or home network—no doubt a reason for the continued increase in the IoT market size.
When Did the IoT Start?
Though the consumer market of IoT-based solutions is still young, the technology itself has been around the block a couple of times. The internet was born in the ’90s. And not long after, scientists, engineers, and other tech-savvy people saw even more opportunities within this technology. The term “internet of things” was first coined in 1999 by British technology pioneer Kevin Ashton.
What Are the Domestic Uses of the Internet of Things?
To make things easier, let’s look at some practical ways in which IoT market leaders are putting this technology to use.
One of the most accessible forms of the IoT is found in the smart home industry. Smart home services and products have one purpose: to make your life easier. How does it do that? It automates your home experience by interconnecting your smart home appliances and devices. This helps your home become a living being of sorts. Your devices can now communicate, helping you track, monitor, and control important processes through something as simple as an app on your smartphone.
Did you forget to switch off the oven? No problem, do it while you’re waiting for your Lyft or train to arrive. Are you on holiday and worried about your home? Install a smart security system to help you keep an eye on things while you’re away.
IoT market research has shown that smart security products are some of the most used and loved devices in the smart home industry. More than half of the smart home industry in America considers smart security the top benefit brought on by the smart home movement. Smart locks, smart alarms, and smart smoke sensors are the three most-used smart security products on the market.
What Are the Advantages of the IoT?
It’s clear that millions of people all around the world benefit from the application of the IoT. Why is that? What do they gain from its use? The internet of things’ value is derived from the following four benefits:
- It saves time
- It saves money
- Less effort is required in IoT-based solutions
- It drastically improves security measures
How Does the Internet of Things Save Time?
As mentioned before, the IoT is used to automate things. This means that processes can be interconnected on a new level. Devices and systems that were manually operated previously can now be triggered by each other, and the IoT market size will grow more and more as the IoT further simplifies our everyday tasks.
When you drive home from work, you can prompt your smart oven to start preheating itself to the desired temperature. The target temperature was in the recipe you downloaded onto your smart refrigerator earlier in the day. And as soon as you asked your smart refrigerator to cue that recipe, it immediately searched your inventory to check if you had enough ingredients to cook the meal you want.
Your smart home products help you save time by performing the more tedious tasks for you. Set a smart vacuum robot up to clean your floors when you’re at work, saving you time and giving you a clean floor to return home to. Time saved is one of the top benefits pushing IoT market growth.
How Does the Internet of Things Save Money?
The automation of processes doesn’t only save time. The IoT also helps save money. The age-old saying proclaims that time saved is money earned. But IoT-based solutions also include some clever money-saving tricks.
Look at something as simple as a smart thermostat. Get it installed with your home warming and cooling system and operate it through your other smart devices. Preprogram it according to when it should adjust your home temperature. Or just change it over the dedicated smartphone app. IoT market analysis has shown that people save about 20% per year on average in home warming and cooling costs due to this piece of technology.
Now think of all the other processes you can complete more efficiently. Things that normally cost people and businesses fortunes can be managed better, thus preventing unnecessary expenditures. Every person and business will love to saving more this way.
How Does the Internet of Things Save Effort?
As mentioned previously, devices can now govern other devices. You can set up schedules to program the actions of your smart devices. Some smart devices will use AI to create even smarter and better solutions to your problems (without you even asking for it). IoT growth is most certainly spurred on by its effort-saving benefits.
Take the smart lawn mower, for instance. You set it up in your backyard according to the instructions supplied by the manufacturer. Then, you map out your lawn on the online system and program the cutting schedule. Finally, just make a cup of coffee as you watch your lawn mow itself. The integrated AI capabilities on some of these units will stop the mower from operating during bad weather. It may even alter cutting schedules during periods of sustained bad weather. You don’t need to intervene, and best of all, you don’t have to push a large chunk of metal on Saturday morning, anymore.
How Does the Internet of Things Improve Security Measures?
An internet of things industry report has shown that 63% of American smart home customers buy products to improve their home security. But don’t think these types of security solutions are only for domestic use. Businesses alike enjoy the monitoring and control capabilities these devices have.
Smart CCTVs, smart locks, integrated alarm systems, smart smoke and flood sensors, and many other security-focused devices can connect to the internet. This helps its users have more control over the people and property they want to protect.
65% of home burglaries happen while people are at work. Criminals target places when they’re left unattended. It’s logical to expect that criminals will also target businesses when there are fewer people on the premises.
Having a security measure that you can control and monitor remotely through the global IoT market will help deter illicit activity on your property. Researchers have found that homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be broken into. It’s probably about time to get yourself secured if you haven’t yet.
How Do Businesses Use the Internet of Things?
So it’s clear that people benefit from the use of this technology. But how do businesses apply the IoT to get those same benefits?
Automatic Check-out Points
The world of retail is constantly looking for ways to make customers’ in-store experiences more comfortable. And so, they’ve found a new way to revolutionize it.
The internet of things market has grown to include smart beacons, scanners, and cameras. These devices are fitted to products and store shelves. Customers can now fill a basket as they shop and simply walk out the door. Automatic check-out points will tally the customer’s total bill and will charge it on their preferred automatic payment option.
In-store apps will recognize customers’ likes and preferences. These apps scan the unique profiles of their customers to guide them to in-store specials. It will help a customer find what they need as they scan the shelves with a smartphone camera.
These apps will even be able to apply customer-specific specials. It may be according to coupons or even certain loyalty systems.
Value Chain Automation
IoT market segments like the manufacturing industry have many moving parts in their systems. It’s sometimes hard and expensive to keep track of every piece of information that will help speed things up. But now, IoT-based products and solutions can help these industries keep track of every part of their value chains with greater ease. It will also help create cheaper solutions to their problems.
Shortening and cheapening a value chain will lead to higher profits. Businesses in every industry use IoT services and solutions to help them simplify their business systems. For this purpose, less is definitely more (and cheaper).
Certain industries are heavily dependent on information. Large marketing and consulting corporations need information on a very wide scale to supply effective strategies to their customers. Internet of things market analysis tools help these businesses gather information at unprecedented levels never known before. Detailed information about customer behavior and other types of data that prove valuable to their customers help create better marketing and investment strategies.
Businesses want to know what their customers want. It’s unfortunately not that easy to find the answer. There’s a large cavity of miscommunication between a business and its customer. But information supplied by IoT services and products can help bridge the chasm between.
IoT technology can inform a business about the current behavior and needs of a specific customer. This helps the business supply the customer with the right solutions to their problems. IoT market segmentation will be much easier than previous market segmentation efforts. A business that knows its customers will be much more effective, leading to happier clients and higher sales figures.
Improved Workplace Safety
Neglecting the safety measures of a business is a large risk. Medical expenses and lawsuits can be very costly. Since these expenses are seldom budgeted for, they may cause significant damage to a business’s cash flow.
IoT services and solutions can help improve workplace safety. There may be a monthly cost, but that’s small when compared to the expenses it prevents. In fact, improving workplace safety may very well save your business.
Stock Management Systems
Managing a business’s stock used to be a time-consuming, archaic task. Today, the IoT market can help supply faster, more effective solutions. Sensors, beacons, and scanners help automate the systems that govern a business’s stock management. It also requires less labor in the process, which helps reduce expenses.
Smart refrigerators also have some stock management features. Some of these units can inform their users when specific contents have reached their expiration date. It’s not only convenient to use, but it will also save you time and money.
Necessity is the mother of all invention. This technology will cause new problems to arise. Take the smart home display, for instance. Who would have thought that you’d get a smart tablet specifically designed for and dedicated to domestic use only? Someone saw the need, and they created a product that helps you to operate your smart home products from one simple device. Inventions like these helped grow the global IoT market size in 2019 to $1.7 trillion. This is just the start of the massive jump in growth expected to happen later in 2019. More inventions and new types of IoT services will form part of the global market as new customer needs are identified.
How Big Is the Internet of Things?
So just how big is the internet of things? As mentioned, it has grown from a mere $182.2 billion in the year 2018 to a massive $1.7 trillion in the year 2019. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over these 10 years falls within 20–25%. But some economists predict the global market will reach a tipping point somewhere in 2019. They say a massive flood of demand will stream into the IoT market and may drive growth as much as 30%.
Although that’s impressive, you’ll have to consider whether the number of devices and users will have also grown in this time period. It’s believed by some that there were 12.5 billion connected devices in the global market in the year 2010. That leaped to 25 billion connected devices in the year 2015. Now economists say there will be around 50 billion connected devices in the year 2020. That means there will be at least 6 connected devices for every human on earth.
The industrial IoT market will be leading a charge of their own during this time. A rise in the use of IoT services and products will cheapen the supply of IoT technology solutions. The accessibility of IoT-based technology will be easier. It will only hasten the growth trends in the years to come.
What About the Safety of the Internet of Things?
Things all over the world will connect (and many already do). Does this cause damage to the data privacy of individuals’ and businesses’ information? Here are a few things to keep in mind. Considering the internet of things’ market size in 2019 already, it may be a good idea to follow certain good data privacy and safety practices.
Some smart devices don’t yet have the dedicated antivirus software for dealing with every kind of malicious online attack. These devices are therefore still vulnerable considering that they aren’t able to fight back when someone or something tries to gain unauthorized access.
However, encrypting your network will help you stop something or someone from gaining access to an unprotected device. Encrypting your network with something like WPA2 (Wireless Protected Access) will mask your network signal. This helps mask the information that’s traveling in and out of the devices on your network. The internet of things market size stretches all across the world, so all types of attacks need to be averted.
Use IoT Security Solutions
Gartner, a large-scale consulting corporation, has estimated a CAGR of 27.87% in expenditures on IoT security solutions between the years 2016 and 2021. This means it will grow from $912 million to $3.1 billion. Needless to say, the security expenditures of the IoT market size (Gartner believes) will grow significantly. It’s obvious that there will have to be measures to secure IoT networks as the application of this technology grows over time.
Follow Good Data Privacy Principles
It’s very simple. However, this must be mentioned for a reason. People around the world still reuse old passwords. They don’t change passwords often enough, and they even use the same passwords across different platforms and accounts.
This makes it very easy for hackers and other types of online attackers to get hold of your login credentials. Keep applying good data privacy principles. It will help protect the information you submit on IoT-based solutions.
Is the IoT the Future?
Many types of inventions have come and gone. Some saw a flurry of immediate sales only to die a quick death. Others have fought to stay in the market only to see a slow decline and ultimate death. Will the IoT market share also decline over time? Or is it the future?
Boston Consulting Group Prediction for 2020
The Boston Consulting Group is an international business with more than 90 offices in 50 countries. Their headquarters are in Boston Massachusetts (hence the name). They supply consulting services in more than 15 of the world’s largest industries. They estimate the IoT market size for 2020 to reach $267 billion. They certainly believe the future of the internet of things to be bright.
Growth in Total Devices
As mentioned before, the number of devices connected to the internet is expected to grow. Some economists believe the total will grow from around 50 billion in 2020 to a staggering 75 billion in the year 2025. The internet of things market forecast shows that it’s here to stay.
What to Expect from the Internet of Things
IoT technology has swept across the world. Billions of people depend on some form of IoT-based technology. So what can be expected from the internet of things for the future?
There are a few factors that will determine the rate at which IoT products and services are adopted by the market. Some of these predictions may take longer to manifest than others. But it’s just a matter of time before something of the like is established.
Growing Demand for 5G Networks
The most common IoT market forecast speaks of widespread growth. But the internet of things needs fast network speeds to help with the communication of large data loads. Current data infrastructures are capable of facilitating IoT services, but it comes at a cost. Current 4G networks don’t yet supply the type of network needed to help the internet of things work its best results.
That’s why demand for 5G networks will grow steadily as the demand for IoT products and services grow. The roll-out of 5G networks will typically be completed in first-world countries in its early stages. Third-world countries will follow suit as soon as they have the expendable income and technical expertise to launch and maintain such projects. IoT market growth and the demand for 5G networks will walk hand in hand.
Initial IoT Skills Shortage
The demand for the benefits brought on by the internet of things may very well be more than the initial supply available. The market will initially struggle to find enough IoT skilled labor. This may lead to higher salaries for the few who are adept in the field of IoT-based services and products.
This may also lead to new kinds of schools and educational opportunities that produce more IoT-related skilled labor. The fast rise in this technology’s demand within the manufacturing sectors will create a shortage in the supply of labor in the industrial internet of things.
More Smart Cities
Governments and municipalities are the slowest sectors of the economy to adopt the internet of things. This can be due to a whole host of barriers like policy issues, budget constraints, and political climates. However, federal and institutional organizations will soon realize the benefits of cultivating smart cities. Some governments (like China’s) have already recognized the technology as the future.
Smart cities will eliminate the need for tedious, archaic operational tasks. The reading and servicing of meters will be done electronically. Electronic systems with IoT capabilities will help these institutions supply faster and better services. The internet of things and the marketing industry aren’t the only two sectors that will collaborate. Even governments will use it to grow their smart city portfolios.
Artificial Intelligence Will Gain More Ground
In the past, AI had to be loaded via software or already embedded in a device, and that device had to have its very own dedicated tools to perform the AI’s complex computing. However, now, any device fitted with IoT capabilities can be controlled by another device. This means that a person or program from across the planet can influence IoT-enabled products.
AI no longer needs to be physically installed on a device. If a device is using IoT technology, it can simply connect to another device that already has AI capabilities. In this manner, AI can be spread much faster and at a much lower cost. IoT marketing will most definitely want to highlight the fact that almost any IoT device can enjoy the benefits of AI capabilities.
Cars Will Become Even Smarter
Cars have been connected to the internet for some time now. Satellite navigation, internet radio, mobile notifications, you name it. Some cars can even be started with a phone app. But cars will become smarter. The internet of things will help the automotive industry to roll out new kinds of smart features.
Widespread IoT technology may very well be the major breakthrough that helps self-driving cars become a common form of transportation. Faster 5G networks and the interactive nature of smart cities may help increase the number of eyes available to driverless cars. Who knows? Self-driving vehicles may soon be safer than a ride on the subway.
A Call to Action for Regulators and Legislators
The IoT market size in 2021 will be huge. By this time, it will have all kinds of international trade implications, data privacy issues, and other matters regarding international communication.
There will be a big shift in the way governments and industries treat this technology, especially the way it regards sensitive data. Regulatory and legislative institutions will have to pass laws and strike agreements to guide and govern this disruptive technology.
The internet of things has changed the way we communicate. It has changed the way we interact with our homes. Its effects have changed the way business is done in every industry all over the world. The IoT market size is about to explode with growth. Life as we know it is about to change.