Are you aware of the milestone achievements that happened in the Internet of Things in 2015?
Everyday interactions and normal tasks like going for a run in the park, test driving a car or turning on the living room lights are increasingly facilitated by machine-to-machine interactions. That jog, car or electricity grid are most likely connected to a machine or set of systems through wearable technology, an integrated GPS, or a “smart grid”—and the Internet of Things is behind it all.
In 2015, the ecosystem of commerce, technology, enterprise, government, and the world at large has never been more welcoming for the long-predicted IoT explosion to occur. Some high-level trends we’ve seen this year include:
- A sharp decline in the cost of sensing technology and data processing, paired with a large spike in adoption.
- Increased ability for connectivity using now-ubiquitous technologies.
- An overall increasing comfort with the idea of “always-on” sensing.
The current state of the Internet of Things 2015 is clear—the world is ready to take the next step.
The future we’ve been waiting for is almost here
We’ve been talking about the Internet of Things for a while now, but we’ve seen some major shifts happen this year. According to Business Insider, nearly 10 billion devices were connected to the internet in 2015 and according to Verizon, those devices will interact an estimated 1.2 billion times in a B2B “machine-to-machine” (M2M) context by the end of this year.
Those numbers are now projected to hit 34 billion devices and 5.4 billion interactions by 2020, with IoT devices comprising more than two-thirds of connected machines. This type of explosion is hard to ignore — and it’s clear to see that the time to act is now.
Companies must become first IoT solutions adopters, and they’ll want to move quickly. Of the businesses that have adopted IoT solutions, 82% saw an increase in efficiency and nearly 50% saw an increase in quality of their product. Additionally, the IoT can lower operating costs, increase productivity, and help companies expand into new markets or develop new product offerings.
Steady progress ahead
As we close out 2015, the explosive growth in IoT is already happening in many business contexts. M2M connections grew by more than 100% YoY from 2013 to 2014 in manufacturing, finance, insurance and media/entertainment with many other industries seeing growth numbers approaching 100%.
With improved analytics driving businesses around the world, these numbers couldn’t be clearer—there is significant growth in the IoT world.
Increase in connectivity across industries
IoT connectivity also made strides this year in just about every business context. Highlights include:
- Insurance is moving to usage-based models that rely on connected devices to report back on previously asymmetrical information.
- Energy and utility companies are seeing incentivized digitization and connectivity that they can’t ignore. According to Navigant Research, 1.1 billion smart meters are expected by 2022.
- Manufacturing is connecting more directly to demand. 53% of manufacturers are expected to offer smart products by 2016, which will help manufacturing decision timelines shrink from weeks to days—or even hours
Where there’s room to grow
With all this incredible progress, there’s still plenty of room to grow—specifically in the automobile industry. Currently, only 10% of vehicles on the road are connected to a network of any kind. Consumer demand, meanwhile, is undeniable. Nearly 25% of car buyers said that connectivity made a vehicle much more desirable at the time of purchase.
With an estimated $6 trillion to be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years, business behavior is bound to change. Analysts are even projecting 13 million wearable devices will be available by 2018 for tracking employee wellness as healthcare is revolutionized from the inside out by IoT.
The business world must continue to build upon this progress. As 2015 comes to a close, we are at a tipping point where the potential has moved from adoption and is tilting into widespread acceptance. Companies will need to act fast to keep up.