IDC just released their 2014 predictions for the Internet of Things and you can expect a ton of exciting activity around this topic.
Here is a quick summary.
1. IoT partnerships will emerge among disparate vendor ecosystems
There is already considerable momentum in the industry around partnerships between hardware vendors, software companies and network operators but 2014 is the year when we will see unlikely partnerships emerge to form an IoT ecosystem that will benefit all. There will be a strong push towards adoption of open standards that will further accelerate collaboration across vendors.
2. Leaps of faith in 2014 will create end-to-end IoT solutions
Enterprise customers need a compelling story to make large investments in this transformational space and large IoT vendors are ready to take leaps of faith to create end-to-end IoT solutions across verticals. The best example is Google’s recent acquisition of smart thermostat Nest for $3.2 billion.
3. Open source-minded China will be a key player in the IoT
China is already an active adopter of IoT but in 2014 it will emerge as a key player. By 2030, an estimated 500 million Chinese homes could become connected with an average of 40-50 connected devices per home. Not only is it a key market for IoT, it is also the breeding ground for developing key IoT technologies and competitive solutions.
4. IDC expects the “plumbing” of the IoT will attract significant activity
There are already success-stories of companies and consumers benefiting from IoT but 2014 will be the year to the lay the grounds for growth on a broader scale by focusing on the IoT plumbing including low-cost IP-enabled sensors on the edge and IoT-ready network infrastructure to achieve near-zero latency.
5. The IoT will come to healthcare
On the consumer side, quantified-self movement is already gaining grounds with growing adoption of wearables (such as Fitbit) and convergence of mobile and social (e.g. sharing your health goals and achievements with friends on Facebook). There are enough compelling IoT use cases for caregivers and health organizations (such as remote health monitoring and higher patient engagement) but major security, compliance and regulatory obstacles need to be overcome. The shiny connected device is only the tip of the iceberg, the real magic happens in the background. The focus should be on underlying technology such as big data, analytics, cloud computing and security solutions.
6. Mobility software vendors will continue to show a lack of interest in IoT
In 2014, traditional mobility software application and platform vendors will leverage their B2B and B2C expertise and customer base to capitalize on IoT opportunities and become an active participant in the drive towards open standards.
7. Worldwide “smart city” spending on the IoT will be $265 Billion
Government is a surprising early adopter of IoT. Smart city spend will be 29% of total government spend in 2014 to improve quality of life, build sustainable and environment-friendly cities, reduce congestion and pollution, improve disaster planning, build intelligent transportation systems and improve public safety.
8. A wearable computing device introduced this year will outsell any wearable computing
IDC predicts that in 2014 disruption in wearable computing will come from upstarts and unlikely contenders not the heavy weights like Apple and Samsung. Established consumer technology vendors are at the risk of diminishing role of existing technologies such as the iPhone. Apple and Samsung may catch up in the wearables market in the future but not in 2014.
9. IoT security is a hot topic, but there will be no heat until there is a fire
Although IoT security is a widely debated topic, IDC expects no groundbreaking growth will happen to move the needle on security, compliance, standardization and regulations. In 2014, security will be a small market, $150 – 200M since there is little incentive for highly regulated industries to invest in innovative and high-risk technologies.
10. Professional services will open up the IoT competitive landscape
Since majority of companies are still beginning to understand the transformational benefits of IoT, in 2014 they will heavily rely on professional services to not just figure out the IoT technology but understand how their businesses will be impacted.
Bonus prediction: Big Data will drive value creation from IoT
IoT will drive greater adoption of big data and analytics to source and store large quantities of data generated by connected devices and make sense of it for real-time decision-making. In 2014, IDC expects horizontal IoT solutions and data analytics to drive adoption of IoT beyond the consumer market to meaningful enterprise scenarios.
Link to full report (for IDC subscribers):
Source: “Worldwide Internet of Things 2014 Top 10 Predictions: Nascent Market Shakes Up Vendor Strategies” by Carrie MacGillivray et al, IDC, January 2014.