IoT market keeps growing, with no end in sight

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31 October 2017 | 0

With all the hype it is getting, you might think the Internet of Things (IoT) simply could not gain any more momentum. Well, think again, because new market research and a wave of global IoT investments from sovereign nations and top-name companies keeps on accelerating the IoT momentum.

Growth, growth and more growth
First off, IHS Markit has published a new ebook in which it predicts serious growth for IoT: “The number of connected IoT devices worldwide will jump 12% on average annually, from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030.”

According to the ebook, entitled “The Internet of Things: a movement, not a market,” that growth “is impacting virtually all stages of industry and nearly all market areas — from raw materials to production to distribution and even the consumption of final goods.”

One critical impact of that is “Global data transmissions are expected to increase from 20 to 25% annually to 50% per year, on average, in the next 15 years.”

Perhaps that is why China is reportedly shifting focus from semiconductors to IoT and smart devices. According to another report, “Beijing envisions spending about $150 billion (€129 billion) over 10 years to achieve a leading position in design and manufacturing.”

Sure, smart devices incorporate plenty of semiconductor processes and sensors, but the shift still seems significant.

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also interested in IoT. His Smart Dubai Plan 2021 calls for leveraging IoT to help transition to a completely paperless government.

Biggest players scramble to invest
At the same time, big-name companies around the world are ramping up their own IoT initiatives.

Dell is creating a new IoT division and opening IoT labs in locations around the world. The new division will be headed by Ray O’Farrell, the chief technology officer of VMware, and funded with a $1 billion (€859 million) R&D budget over three years to develop. Its charter? To create new, more productive IoT products to work with Dell’s existing portfolio. A new IoT partner programme aimed at predictive analytics is also in the works.

But Dell’s billion is a drop in the bucket compared to China’s Alibaba Group, which plans to spend $15 billion (€12.9 billion) over three years on research and development in several areas, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing and, of course, IoT. Like Dell, it plans to open a series of global research labs in China, Russia and the United States.

Samsung, Salesforce and Toshiba
And at the Samsung Developer Conference 2017, the company said it is combining three IoT services into a single IoT platform. SmartThings, Samsung Connect, and ARTIK will be folded into the SmartThings Cloud, designed to offer developers a single, open hub for all Samsung IoT devices. The centre piece is a single cloud API across all SmartThings-compatible products.

Salesforce, for its part, recently re-energised it IoT efforts with the launch of the IoT Cloud Explorer Edition. It’s designed to make it easier for non-technical folks to understand and use IoT data and devices. Of course, the idea is to help users incorporate that data into other Salesforce products, including the Salesforce Service Cloud, which debuted in 2015.

Toshiba, meanwhile, says it will boost its IoT R&D team by 50% in the next three years. The company plans to hire an additional 500 people to bring the team at Toshiba Digital Solutions to 1,500.

One could go on and on, but you get the picture. The world’s biggest players are convinced IoT is the future, and they are investing serious capital to make sure they stay relevant as the market mushrooms.

 

IDG News Service

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