Connected ‘Things’ Continues to Grow

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 @ 03:11 PM gHale

By next year there will be 6.4 billion connected things in use worldwide, up 30 percent from this year, a new report said.

By 2020, there will be 20.8 billion connected things, according to a report by Gartner. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will end up connected every day, the researchers said.

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Gartner said the Internet of Things (IoT) will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015.

Services end up dominated by the professional category (in which businesses contract with external providers in order to design, install and operate IoT systems), however connectivity services (through communications service providers) and consumer services will grow at a faster pace.

“IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organizations and vendors,” said Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

“Aside from connected cars, consumer uses will continue to account for the greatest number of connected things, while enterprises will account for the largest spending,” Tully said. Gartner said 4 billion connected things will be in use in the consumer sector in 2016, and will reach 13.5 billion in 2020.

In terms of hardware spending, consumer applications will amount to $546 billion in 2016, while the use of connected things in the enterprise will drive $868 billion in 2016.

In the enterprise, Gartner considers two classes of connected things. The first class consists of generic or cross-industry devices used in multiple industries, and vertical-specific devices found in particular industries.

Cross-industry devices include connected light bulbs, HVAC and building management systems mainly deployed for purposes of cost saving. The second class includes vertical-specific devices, such as specialized equipment used in hospital operating rooms, tracking devices in container ships, and others.

“Connected things for specialized use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices. By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise,” Tully said.