Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Gartner predicts 4.9bn connected devices this year

Steve Rogerson
January 28, 2015
While the IoT is forecast by Gartner to grow to 4.9bn connected things this year, the Connecticut-based market research company predicts there will still not be a dominant IoT ecosystem by 2018.
But by 2020, it believes there will be a 0.25bn connected vehicles on the road, enabling new in-vehicle services and automated driving capabilities. During the next five years, the proportion of new vehicles equipped with this capability will increase dramatically, making connected cars a major element of the IoT.
Gartner forecasts that 4.9bn connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 per cent from 2014, and will reach 25bn by 2020.
“The connected car is already a reality, and in-vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands, to high-volume midmarket models,” said James Hines, research director at Gartner. “The increased consumption and creation of digital content within the vehicle will drive the need for more sophisticated infotainment systems, creating opportunities for application processors, graphics accelerators, displays and human-machine interface technologies. At the same time, new concepts of mobility and vehicle usage will lead to new business models and expansion of alternatives to car ownership, especially in urban environments.”
Gartner forecasts that about one in five vehicles on the road worldwide will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020, amounting to more than 250 million connected vehicles. The proliferation of vehicle connectivity will have implications across the major functional areas of telematics, automated driving, infotainment and mobility services.
By 2020, the connected kitchen will contribute at least 15 per cent savings in the food and beverage industry, while leveraging big data analytics.
The connected kitchen has received less attention and drawn less focus along the IoT value chain compared with other IoT use cases and digital business opportunities. However, the connected kitchen will deliver significant benefits across industries spanning retail, healthcare and insurance, in addition to significantly addressing sustainability issues.
“The connected kitchen creates digital business opportunities at several levels in the food supply chain and retail food service,” said researcher Satish RM. “A real-time inventory data collection from sensors related to kitchen ingredients enables automated generation and ordering of shopping lists, resulting in a streamlined and efficient inventory and optimised supply chain management.”
By the end of 2018, there will still be no dominant IoT ecosystem platform; IT leaders will need to compose systems from multiple providers.While companies are busy building out their IoT ecosystems, there is still no coherent set of business or technical models for the IoT. Standards remain nascent and most IoT projects will entail custom elements. This is further complicated by the lack of dominant technology service providers in the IoT.
“Many standards and ecosystems for the IoT are still in development and some of the vendors and ecosystems may fail during the working lifetime of current IoT projects,” said Alfonso Velosa, research director at Gartner. “CIOs will need to ensure their prime system integrator has a strategy to future-proof their project. This is especially critical if the project involves infrastructure that may be in the field for decades. A gateway-based architecture will be a key approach to future-proofing IoT projects.”