Connected IoT Devices
to Top 31B in 2018
February 5, 2018
by the need for intelligent connected devices in industrial and
commercial applications, the number of connected Internet of Things
(IoT) devices globally will grow to more than 31 billion in 2018,
according to new analysis from business information provider IHS Markit
(Nasdaq: INFO). The commercial and industrial sector, powered by
building automation, industrial automation and lighting, is forecast to
account for about half of all new connected devices between 2018 and
“The IoT is not a recent phenomenon, but what is new is it’s now working
hand in hand with other transformative technologies like artificial
intelligence and the cloud,” said Jenalea Howell, research director for
IoT connectivity and smart cities at IHS Markit. “This is fueling the
convergence of verticals such as industrial IoT, smart cities and
buildings, and the connected home, and it’s increasing competitiveness.”
In its latest IoT Trend Watch report, IHS Markit identifies four key
drivers and the trends that will impact the IoT this year and beyond:
Innovation and competitiveness
- The IoT opportunity has attracted
numerous duplicative and overlapping wireless solutions such as
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 5G, NB-IoT, LoRa and Sigfox. Standards consolidation
lies ahead, but confusion and fragmentation will dominate in the near
- Enterprises are leveraging the
location of data as a competitive advantage — and as a result, a hybrid
approach to cloud and data center management is taking hold. More and
more companies will employ both on-premises data centers and
off-premises cloud services to manage their IT infrastructure.
- 5G builds upon earlier
investments in M2M (machine-to-machine) and traditional IoT
applications, enabling significant increases in economies of scale
that drive adoption and utilization across all sectors of industry.
Improved low-power requirements, the ability to operate on licensed
and unlicensed spectrum, and better coverage will drive
significantly lower costs across the IoT.
- Cellular IoT gateways, which
facilitate WAN connectivity, will be integral to edge computing
deployments. 2018 will bring increased focus on compute capabilities
and enhanced security for cellular IoT gateways.
Standardization and security
- Cybersecurity is a leading
concern for IoT adopters. IoT deployments face critical
cybersecurity risks because there are potentially many more IoT
devices to secure compared to traditional IT infrastructure devices,
presenting increased risk to traditional communications and
computing systems, as well as physical health and safety.
- Despite the promise it holds,
blockchain — a technology for securely storing and transferring data
— is not a panacea. Initially, IoT applications for blockchain
technology will focus on asset tracking and management.
- IoT platforms are becoming
more integrated. Currently, there are more than 400 IoT platform
providers. Many vendors are using integration to compete more
effectively, providing highly integrated functionality for IoT
application developers and adopters.
- Significant innovation will
occur when IoT app developers can leverage data from myriad deployed
sensors, machines and data stores. A key inflection point for the
IoT will be the gradual shift from the current “Intranets of Things”
deployment model to one where data can be exposed, discovered,
entitled and shared with third-party IoT application developers.