The booming IoT market in India will be driven by business – and not consumers, so says a new report from GE.
The Internet of Things (IoT) in India will be driven by industry rather than consumers, according to a new report by General Electric India Technology Centre (GE ITC) in partnership with National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) and Deloitte.
The report, dubbed IoT: A Revolution in the Making, predicts that the number of connected devices globally is expected to grow by more than five times to 20.8 billion, with revenue expected to grow over three times to $3 trillion by 2020. Consumer IoT units are expected to form a significant share – about 65 per cent of the total IoT installed base, or 13.5 billion, by 2020.
However, in India, the proportion of consumer IoT units is expected to be significantly lower.
The GE report finds that the IoT market in India stands at about $5.6bn with 200 million connected devices in 2016. It said, this is expected to grow to $15bn with 2.7 billion devices by 2020.
Demand for industrial applications will drive IoT growth going forward in India, the report found, with consumer IoT adoption expected to be slower due to the cost of IoT devices, as well as security and privacy concerns from consumers.
Industrial, consumer IoT heading in different directions
Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at Quocirca, believes that these concerns can affect the growth of IoT from a consumer perspective in other regions too.
“While consumer IoT is receiving a lot of attention – with smart thermostats, smart clothing and a smart home – many of the applications suffer from the same challenges,” he told Internet of Business.
“The perceived immediate value to the consumer is not that high compared to the cost – and with innovation coming along quite rapidly, a long term return on investment is not realistic,” he said.
IoT adoption in India is expected to grow across industry, with utilities, manufacturing, automotive and healthcare being the biggest growth areas.
Bamforth explained that industrial IoT use is different to consumer use, as it can be applied to address real, measurable resource challenges such as fertilizer use and crop returns in agriculture, failure of components or systems in remote locations, and depletion of resources with timely resupply.
“In these types of applications, a strong case can be made for the return as it is measurable and specific. Industrial IoT often has a specific and deliberate purpose – it streamlines existing business processes, and it can enable new ones too,” he said.
However, Bamforth warned that industrial IoT implementation has to overcome the challenge of scale.
“To make a real different, implementation has to be significant. So many projects start of as a proof of concept, and then need to be scaled up – not all IoT technologies or architectures are sufficiently well designed to do this,” he said.
A few weeks ago, Milton Keynes Council’s head of policy and performance, Sarah Gonsalves, suggested that there hadn’t been compelling use cases to scale up several of the IoT programs that the council had piloted.