Internet of Things (IOT) to drive $2.4 trillion by 2017

September 17, 2013
IOT: Internet of Things

IOT graphic from

I have referred to this data in panels and realized I never posted about the IDC report from May 2013. The report was launched at SMART Technology World, which is an exec level conference focused on intelligence systems. The numbers the reported predicted is large.Usually, I laugh at reports predicting growth of markets because often research over inflates market potentials of technology industries. For example, I believe McKinsey & Company in the mid-1990’s predicted tremendous growth for e-commerce that was over-inflated. Call it optimism, call it “hey, they are consultants and don’t actually *work* full time in the industry. Whatever. Because the reality is that typically folks who write these reports are smart, great at looking at macro-trends and crunching numbers. Because they don’t work in the trenches, they don’t often capture the usage patterns from consumers the way for example marketeers do.

But that’s neither here nor there. The important thing here on the IDC report is that for once, I actually believe that a report may be under-capturing the potential of an industry.

$2.4 trillion sounds like a lot, but the market for intelligent systems – those enabled with high-performance microprocessors, IP connectivity, and high level operating systems is already a 3.5 billion units and $1.7 trillion revenue industry. The leap from $1.7 trillion revenue to $2.4 trillion is minimal. The IOT industry captures all connectivity, M2M, etc and we have only begun to see the tip of the iceberg in connected devices.

Think of it this way. Today, we have only a few types of devices that connect persistently such as mobile phones, PCs, tablets. We are now seeing an increase in M2M IOT products like FitBits, Nets and ADT alarm systems. Imagine that in the next 5 years we see passive health trackers more popular, along with connected home security, connected home fridge, connected government street lights and more. The number of IOT devices would be exponentially more than what we see today. There will be trillions in revenue to be made from the devices, connectivity, security, big data and more.

It’s an exciting future and I like the sound of $2.4 trillion!


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