In a recent release, Gartner forecasted that 6.4 billion connected tings will be in use globally in 2016, a 30 percent increase from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by the year 2020. According to the technology research giant, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day. Further, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things will support total services spending of $235 billion in the year ahead, up 22 percent from 2015. Services are currently dominated in the professional category, though connectivity services and consumer services will also grow at a faster pace in the future.
Gartner’s Vice President and distinguished analyst Jim Tully explains: “IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors. Aside from connected cars, consumer uses will continue to account for the greatest number of connected things, while enterprise will account for the largest spending.” Gartner estimates that 4 billion connected IoT “things” will be in use inside the consumer sector in 2016, and will reach 13.5 billion by 2020. 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.”
Gartner considers two classes of connected things inside the enterprise. The first consists of generic or cross-industry devices that are used in multiple industries, as well as vertical-specific devices that are found in specific industries. According to Gartner, “Cross-industry devices include connected light bulbs, HVAC and building management systems that are mainly deployed for purposes of cost saving. The second class includes vertical-specific devices, such as specialized equipment used in hospital operating theaters, tracking devices in container ships, and many others.”