Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Rosy picture from IoT World Europe Summit

Steve Rogerson
June 18, 2019

The number of IoT devices is expected to increase 2.5 times by 2023 and revenue is forecast to double, according to figures released by consultancy Ovum at last week’s IoT World Europe Summit in London.
The number of devices is predicted to reach 21.5bn by 2023 with revenues jumping to $860bn, twice what they were in 2018.

“There is a lot of optimism in the market,” said Alexandra Rehak (pictured above), IoT practice head at Ovum.
She predicted four key trends – enabling technologies, big data and AI, verticalisation, and new business models.
“You need enabling technologies to grow and reach the potential of the IoT,” she said. “Part of that is connectivity, such as 5G and wide-are networks. You also need to look at blockchain and edge computing. Big data and AI are driving value for IoT data and making the IoT become more sophisticated.”
She said it was important for companies to understand the different vertical they were targeting.
Her colleague, Carrie Pawsey (pictured below), a senior analyst at Ovum, added: “You can’t do all the verticals so you must pick the ones in which you will be strongest. If you go after a particular vertical, you need to learn the language of that vertical and learn what their pain points are.”
Rehak said: “You need to speak the same language as the verticals. As for new business models, these need to be more sophisticated and agile.”
At the heart of the IoT, she said, was the enterprise and the top driver was improving operational efficiency, followed by improving the customer experience and strategic decision making based on actionable insights.
“There are still challenges,” she said. “Top is data security and privacy. How do we work with data analytics? And how do we integrate IoT data with existing IT?”
In terms of new contracts, Pawsey said the most activity was in manufacturing, accounting for 28%, followed by the public sector at 16%, transport at 14% and energy and utilities at 12%.
“There is also a real spike in growth in smart cities and buildings,” she said.