Researches are forecasting that the IoT market will lead to 30.7 billion connected devices by 2020, with a further 145% growth by 2025! What’s even more impressive is that when you look at the Internet of Things so far, it’s clear that we’re just getting started! IoT continues to create new revenue models as more businesses invest in the next generation of data-driven opportunities however the adoption of IoT is considerably uneven, both here in the UK and around the world.
IoT sits at the heart of digital transformations, representing a new era for automation and other data-driven industries. Enterprises are now better informed leading to more effective decisions, new processes and business opportunities. IoT can provide more than the just the ability to harness this data but also the technology to implement it on local, national and international levels. This uptake is evidently uneven as some businesses are yet to invest whilst others are well on their way to IoT-fuelled revenue streams. Whilst it will reach everywhere eventually, those industries spending less than expected today will soon see demands for IoT in the future.
Through sensor data and analytically rich data sets, enterprises are focussing on the value that IoT and its industrial counterpart, IIoT, can bring. With spending expected to increase 19% through 2018, the biggest investments are predicated to come from those industries that work with large volumes of assets. We’ve taken a look at a number of emerging IoT industries and how they are growing with IoT:
Power / Energy / Oil / Gas
The utilities industry is still in the process of connecting physical systems with digital analytics, however deregulation is expected to lead to further investments in the future. Smart metering and renewable energy sources are dependent on connected devices, whilst utility providers will require the analytical infrastructure to monitor and analyse data at the back end. Early investments are expected to pay dividends in the long run as both enterprises and consumers have a stake in improving energy infrastructure.
The uptake of digital healthcare has been slowed by regulatory issues and concerns regarding data privacy. Data-driven patient care and the increase of connected medical devices is leading to one of the industry’s largest digital transformations here in the UK. With applications and sensors available to consumers, patients can better monitor their own health and fitness, with similar applications making their way into critical care.
As connected vending machines, automated packing machines and digital logistics become widespread, IoT brings with it new capabilities for distributors, suppliers and manufacturers. Overall uptake to IoT has been slow as industry-specific applications make their way to market.
The journey to becoming a “Smart Factory” is a long one with initial IoT applications sitting within production monitoring, workflow modernisation and predictive maintenance. Enterprises within process industries have welcomed investments that have helped make their assets more productive. Industry leaders consider IoT to be a way of extending the value of their investments, making them work towards progressive goals rather than becoming stagnant.
The introduction of digital signage has given retailers a much broader set of tools when it comes to advertising. The push to shift from broad-level techniques to more personal and direct methods has seen greater resonance with consumers. From localised adverts and interactive displays to real time stock management and inventory tracking, the opportunities stretch far beyond the shop floor, all the way back to suppliers and warehousing.
As more and more enterprises begin to ramp up their investments in IoT, it’s clear that we haven’t yet scratched the surface of what’s possible. In many ways, we’re waiting for technology to catch-up with our ideas, however there are many enterprises and industries that are yet to get on-board with the improvements and benefits that come with the Internet of Things. Could this be due to the bigger upfront costs or perhaps the larger changes that happen down the line?