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The Internet of Things Moves Beyond the Buzz

Worldwide Market Forecast to Exceed $7 Trillion by 2020, IDC Says

While the interest and buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) has grown steadily in recent years, the seemingly endless market promise continues to become reality. According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), a transformation is underway that will see the worldwide market for IoT solutions grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020. IDC defines the Internet of Things as a network of networks of uniquely identifiable endpoints (or "things") that communicate without human interaction using IP connectivity – be it "locally" or globally.

Consumers continue to experience and embrace IoT in their homes, cars, and in many other aspects of their daily life. Globally, individuals are developing a high affinity for full-time connectivity, which makes consumer IoT a compelling proposition. Businesses are intrigued by the efficiencies, business process implications, and revenue opportunities IoT solutions can generate.

"Businesses are taking the necessary steps to gain a deeper understanding of IoT and the overall value," said Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer, Network, Telecom and Sustainability Research. "Technology vendors are evolving their solutions in a supply-driven market that's edging toward becoming a more demand-driven market."

"The worldwide IoT market is exploding, and IDC's research examines the full breadth of the IoT ecosystem, including intelligent and embedded systems shipments, connectivity services, infrastructure, purpose-built IoT platforms, applications, security, analytics, and professional services," added Carrie MacGillivray, Program Vice President, Mobile Services, IoT, and Network Infrastructure at IDC. "IoT solutions are at the heart of IDC's view of the 3rd Platform and the four pillars — mobility, social business, big data/analytics, and cloud — resulting in millions of applications available to billions of end points."

Additional findings from IDC's research include the following:

  • Developed regions garner the majority of the IoT market, representing approximately 90% of installed units.
  • Worldwide IoT Installed Base will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5% from 2013 to 2020.
  • Increasingly over the forecast period, IDC expects product offerings will be differentiated and competition will generally intensify, particularly around holistic solution offerings that incorporate smart analytics and applications.

The IDC study, Worldwide and Regional Internet of Things (IoT) 2014–2020 Forecast: A Virtuous Circle of Proven Value and Demand (IDC #248451), analyzes the Internet of Things (IoT) market at a worldwide level and by region. It provides an update to the worldwide IoT market outlook published in October 2013, Worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) 2013-2020 Forecast: Billions of Things, Trillions of Dollars (IDC #243661). It also updates the worldwide IoT units installed and now includes the revenue opportunity split by region. The full breadth of the IoT ecosystem revenue is put forth in the revenue forecast, encompassing revenue from the IoT system shipments themselves as well as revenue from connectivity services, infrastructure, purpose-built IoT platforms, applications, security, analytics, and professional services attributable to the base of installed IoT systems. The study discusses the key themes contributing to and characterizing the worldwide and regional growth of the IoT.

To learn more about IDC's latest IoT forecast, please see the IDC Market in a Minute infographic. In addition, Vernon Turner shares his vision of the IoT itself in the IDC TechTalk: Making Sense of the Internet of Things.

More Stories By Pat Romanski

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