Enterprise adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) is starting to gain momentum, fueled by a mix of technological, political and social factors. The declining costs of sensors, connectivity and processing power has made IoT a more viable proposition to a broader set of organizations. Changing regulatory requirements across a number of industries are also making an impact.
Off-the-shelf IoT solutions are starting to materialize with greater frequency, as a replacement for highly customized solutions which have historically characterized many enterprise IoT implementations. And a broader IoT landscape brings greater security challenges. Verizon notes that digital certificates can help address growing C-suite and public concerns and meet regulatory demands around IoT and security.
New research from ABI Research forecasts massive growth broadly, with the number of business-to-business IoT connections — more than quadrupling between 2014 and 2020 — rising to an estimated 5.4 billion connections globally.
In the automotive industry, Verizon’s telematics experts note that 14 car manufacturers account for 80 percent of the worldwide automotive market and all of them have a connected car strategy. Additionally, ABI Research cites that organizations will introduce more than 13 million health and fitness tracking devices into the workplace by 2018.
Verizon experts predict that by 2025 smart cities capabilities will become a critical consideration for companies deciding where to invest and open facilities, due to their impact on operating costs and talent availability.
According to the report, machine-to-machine connections managed by Verizon resulted in growth in 2014 in the following sectors:
- Manufacturing – 204%
- Finance and Insurance – 128%
- Media and Entertainment – 120%
- Home Monitoring – 89%
- Retail and Hospitality – 88%
- Transportation and Distribution – 83%
- Energy and Utilities – 49%
- Public Sector/Smart Cities – 46%
- Healthcare and Pharmaceutical – 40%
Recent growth in M2M connections and a global spotlight on IoT-enabled solutions notwithstanding, Verizon’s experts believe that widespread enterprise adoption is currently low. Verizon experts estimate that just 10 percent of enterprises have deployed IoT technologies extensively — suggesting that many organizations are in a pilot phase or are waiting for more insights from early adopters. This also applies to widely covered categories such as the connected car. According to Verizon’s telematics experts, more than 600 million vehicles worldwide are currently not connected to a network.
While the core technologies powering the Internet of Things — sensors, cloud computing, intelligent networking — are familiar to most businesses and public sector organizations, formulating a viable strategy and developing IoT solutions can be highly complex. There’s still a lot more work to be done in regards to the creation and ratification of industry standards.