IoT Growth to Rise 31 Percent From 2016, Research Shows

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By: Kelley Katsanos|

New research from Gartner reveals 8.4 million Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in use across the globe by the end of 2017 — a 31 percent increase from the same time the year before. The research company expects the number of devices to reach 20 billion by 2020.

IoT Growth for Consumer and Business Segments

Gartner estimates consumer applications will make up 63 percent of total IoT applications, equating to 5.2 billion units this year. Consumer applications will primarily include smart TVs and digital setup boxes. IoT devices like connected door locks and lightbulbs will remain popular with tech-savvy early adopters, noted Network World.

IoT growth is also evident in the enterprise. Businesses will continue to use smart electric meters and commercial security cameras, according to Gartner analyst Peter Middleton. In 2017, businesses are on track to employ 3.1 billion connected devices. Furthermore, in vertical industries like manufacturing and heath care, 1.6 million IoT devices will be in play for specialized needs.

However, 2018 and onward reveals a different scenario.

“Cross-industry devices, such as those targeted at smart buildings (including LED lighting, HVAC and physical security systems) will take the lead as connectivity is driven into higher-volume, lower-cost devices,” according to the Gartner report.

It’s also important to note that although consumers buy more IoT devices, businesses spend more. Gartner research shows that business hardware purchases should reach $964 billion in 2017. Consumer application purchases, on the other hand, should reach $725 billion by the end of this year.

IoT Gets a Boost From China

Reasonably priced products from China may also help further spur IoT growth. Middleton feels “China’s electric utilities have done a surprisingly good job of driving down the cost of things like smart meters through competitive bidding among their suppliers,” Network World reports. “What Chinese companies learn from that could lead to a wave of cost-effective products in North America and Europe that might accelerate the growth of IoT,” the source adds.

Despite IoT growth predictions, security remains a concern for consumers, according to Middleton. These worries may slow down enterprise use of connected devices, but only time will tell.

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About The Author

Kelley Katsanos

News Writer

Kelley Katsanos is a freelance writer specializing in business and technology. She has previously worked in business roles involving marketing analysis and competitive intelligence. Her freelance work appears at IBM Midsize Insider, Houston Chronicle's chron.com, and AZ Central Small Business. Katsanos earned a Master of Science in Information Management from Arizona State University as well as a bachelor's degree in Business with an emphasis in marketing. Her interests include information security, marketing strategy, and business process improvement.