Depending upon your perspective, the Internet of Things (and its accomplices, Big Data and analytics) is: one of the cornerstones that tomorrow’s organizations – public and private – will rest on; the next big revenue generator for the providers of IT products and services; or a minefield that will have to be navigated too-quickly and with too-few resources by CIOs, CISOs, CTOs and their IT minions. Regardless of your perspective, IoT will change everything, and that change is already well underway.
“IoT is just a new label for something that has been around for many years,” said John Whittaker, Executive Director of Product Marketing, Information Management, Dell Software. He told IT Trends & Analysis that we’ve been doing sensors and data analytics for decades, but what’s new are the scale – the growing amount of sensors, devices and data, and how they can be leveraged for business value. “It’s almost as if a flood of imagination has emerged on the playing field and things that we couldn’t even manage a year ago are totally doable.”
Even before IoT showed up organizations were driving this leveraging of data, and driving the need to become even more data driven, said Whittaker. “IoT is kind of just the next wave of that.”
And that wave will transform how we work, play and live, especially work. “You’re going to see it change business in a fundamental way.”
The IoT numbers range from the fantastic to the unbelievable, and are trending more to the latter than the former:
-the worldwide IoT market will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9%;
-the Industrial Controls and Factory Automation market is projected to reach $301.9 billion by 2020, from $171.2 billion in 2013, with a CAGR of 8.53%;
-the Industrial Control System (ICS) security market is expected to grow to $11.29 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 7.6%
–building IoT is expected to be worth $76 billion by 2020;
-telematics will continue to outperform all other M2M (machine-to-machine) markets over the next five years (over $40 billion by 2019, doubling the size of today’s market), in revenue terms, with one in five passenger vehicles connected globally by 2019;
-China Mobile had over 43 million IoT/M2M SIMs at the end of 2014, making it the largest IoT/M2M player globally;
-the smart transportation market to grow from $46.72 billion in 2015 to $138.76 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 24.3% from 2015 to 2020;
-72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2015, up 173.3%, and volumes are expected to experience a CAGR of 42.6% over the five-year forecast period, reaching 155.7 million units shipped in 2019; and,
-while demand for connected home products slowed dramatically in the first half of 2015, expectations are that will be reversed in the future.
If you drink Cisco’s KoolAde, then the IoT/IoE (Internet of Everything) upside is considerably higher. It believes the IoE market will be worth $19 trillion during the next 10 years, with $7.3 trillion of that tied to data, analytics and data in motion.
Dell, together with analyst firm EMA, has compiled its own set of IoT data:
-17.1% currently adopted and an essential part of our business;
-29.3% currently adopted and an important part of our business;
-16.8% currently adopted and mostly supplemental to other types of computing;
-10.5% planned for adoption in the near future (3-6 months);
-15.7% being researched in next year (6-12 months);
-10.5% not planned for research or adoption;
-top IoT industries: 1-industrial; 2-utilities; 3-healthcare; and, 4-manufacturing; and,
-top 5 IoT roadblocks: lack of integrated team to make use of the data (15.1%); privacy issues with data produced by end devices (14.7%); quality and reliability of data from end devices (14.4%); connectivity/throughput to end devices (13.9%); and, undefined business case for user of device information (11.3%).
So we have a ridiculous amount of data, and we’ve barely started on the brave new world of IoT. There are multiple examples of how IoT is changing industries like banking and oil and gas, said Whittaker. “Every business that has dealings with the physical world is going to be affected by IoT eventually.”
Silos of IT will be transformed into what he calls virtual centers of excellence. “The idea of Shadow IT… morphing from Shadow to field or virtualized centers of excellence. I think it’s a good thing.”
It’s about enablement, and better equipping knowledge workers. “IoT is the next thing on the list going to enable that.”
Whittaker is also a firm believer that while large organizations may be the first to leverage IoT and Big Data/analytics, smaller organizations – i.e. Dell’s major customer set – will also benefit. It’s not just about optimization and reduction in costs, but to engage better with customers. “I think the midmarket has the most to gain from these technologies… [and] on top of everything we’re going to have a new series of disrupters that are going to come out of this midmarket.”
IoT isn’t for everybody, cautions Whittaker, but it will be for most. “Organizations of all sizes, especially midmarket, should be looking into this”, he said.