A report has found that the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to be a major driver of growth for businesses over the next few years.
Named the “State of the Market: Internet of Things 2016”, it consists of insights from an Oxford Economics study commissioned by American telco Verizon.
While there’s often a focus on consumer Internet of Things technologies, such as connected cars and fridges, the report has found that B2B offerings are taking the lead when it comes to innovation and investment.
Verizon’s venture capitalist arm claims that enterprise IoT investment beat consumer by 75 percent last year and believes this will be the trend for coming years. In fact, it expects it to outstrip the consumer market by two to three times year-on-year.
IoT is also set to revolutionise the agriculture industry, according to the report. This will happen through precise farming, a high-growth market expected to reach $4.55 billion by 2020.
Businesses are able to use IoT in a bid to better understand and serve their customers, the report says. However, there’s still some way to go, as only 8 percent of businesses are using more than 25 percent of their IoT data.
Industry standards will be established faster as well thanks to changes in the regulatory landscape. The Drug Supply Chain Act is a great example, which puts pressure on drug manufacturers to implement electronic transfer systems by 2017.
5G is also seen as major growth factor for connected devices. The report believes it’ll make autonomous solutions like cars and robots a reality, as well as ushering in new categories – such as virtual and augmented reality IoT.
IoT mainstream adoption
Mike Lanman, senior vice president of IoT and enterprise products at Verizon, said: “The view has been that IoT is a mashup of complex technologies used only by early adopters.
“In the past year, we’ve seen compelling examples of how IoT is being deployed by a wide-range of enterprises, entrepreneurs, municipalities and developers to address relevant business, consumer and public needs.
“Meanwhile, consumers are more willing to try new technologies and apps that introduce a better way of life. The end result will not only give rise to thousands of new use cases over the next two years, but will also create an accelerated pipeline for innovation and a new economy.”
Business will change completely
Paul Shepherd, CEO of Welsh tech agency Coup Media, believes the Internet of Things will change the business landscape in a variety of different ways, including introducing new business models and helping companies develop smarter products.
He said: “In short, IoT will completely change the landscape and give rise to business models and companies that we’d never envisioned.
“In terms of tangible examples, firstly IoT will help companies to make smarter products – as the sensors at the core of IoT feedback usage data and more, so product manufacturers will have an insight like never before and this will help them to create much more user centric products.
“As we all know, more data = better decisions and those decisions will be driven by the data through IoT. Those decisions could be product related, service related or something totally different. Either way more data = better decisions and IoT = more data!
Data is gold dust
He added: “Finally, I think we’ll start to see more strategic partnerships arise through IoT. For example, fit tech companies already aggregate data about our fitness habits and health stats and share these their strategic partners.
“That kind of data is gold dust to marketing agencies and departments so I’m sure we’ll see a lot more collaboration in that space. I’m not sure what that means from a privacy perspective but I’m sure bigger corporations will find a way around that.”