The Internet of Things market is already pretty big, but it’s really only just getting started. According to one of the world’s leading providers of market intelligence on IoT, Machina Research, the value of the global Internet of Things market will jump to an incredible $3 trillion a year by 2025. To put that figure into perspective, the nominal GDP of the world’s fifth largest economy – the United Kingdom – came in slightly below that level last year, at $2.63 trillion.
However, it is another finding from Machina’s research that hints at what this proliferation of connected ‘things’ could mean for other business sectors. Because according to Machina’s forecasts, within the next eight years the world’s growing number of IoT connections will collectively generate 1 zettabyte of data (that’s 1 trillion gigabytes), each and every year.
The reason that second forecast is so important should hopefully be fairly obvious – data is incredibly valuable. While firms that develop IoT devices or create software for the Internet of Things will be obvious beneficiaries of the sector’s phenomenal growth during the next eight years, there are also a wide range of other industries that stand to benefit from the growth of IoT – or, more specifically, from the unimaginably large wealth of data these IoT devices are going to generate. Here are three such industries, for starters…
Data Management & Data Analytics
Let’s start with the most obvious. The sheer scale of the data generated by the IoT sector means startups and global tech firms that have the know-how to centralise these disparate datasets and extract commercial value from them will be perfectly positioned for growth. In fact, according to a recent market analysis by Forrester Research the big data management sector is set to almost double in value by 2021. While the Internet of Things can’t take all the credit for that growth, it is certain to be one big factor in the growth of the global big data sector.
When it comes to digital innovation the retail sector may be playing catchup to its e-commerce cousin, but the Internet of Things could help change all that by putting a wealth of online data at the shopper’s (and the retailer’s) fingertips. For instance, some retailers are experimenting with in-store smart tags that offer smartphone users instant access to online product reviews before they purchase, while others are working to develop smart shopping trolleys that guide customers through the store based on their digital shopping list. According to research by Accenture in the near future some retailers will also begin using IoT technologies to determine when shelves need to be restocked, and others will use smart building solutions to reduce their overheads by controlling the shop’s temperature and lighting in a more energy efficient manner.
And speaking of energy, the electric power industry is also set to benefit from the wealth of big data generated by the IoT sector. Smart grids, which are set to play a major role in helping nation states meet the growing demand for electricity supply, use connected sensors, smart meters and other connected ‘things’ to predict changes in energy consumption, ensuring the electricity grid can handle sudden spikes in demand or reallocate resources during periods of falling demand.
Data, Data, Everywhere
Of course, the impact of the IoT sector, and the vast quantities of data it will continue to generate, will by no means be limited to these three sectors. In fact, it’s hard to imagine an industry that doesn’t have the potential to harness this kind of Big Data to become more efficient, cost effective and user friendly.