Internet of Things Expands: Billions of Connected Devices & Dollars

Awareness of the Internet of Things is gaining a bit of traction, at least in some quarters.

There is now high IoT awareness in more than half (56%) of those in the retail industry, according to a new survey.

Overall, a majority (73%) of companies have deployed, or plan to deploy over the next 12 months, some types of IoT solutions, according to the 2,500-person, 15-country survey by IDC.

More than half (58%) say they consider IoT to be a strategic initiative.

The survey of companies with more than 500 employees found that IoT spending is currently more focused in the enterprise.

But it’s not just the enterprise where IoT action is happening.

Retailers this year will spend $670 million in hardware and installation costs related to the IoT, growing to $2.5 billion within five years, according to Juniper Research.

Combining IoT revenue and cost savings, Juniper pegs the IoT opportunity at $300 billion in five years. That would comprise 39 billion connected devices, up from 13 billion this year.

Much of that activity will involve in-store beacon deployments.

Almost half (46%) of retailers either have or plan to have beacons in stores, according to a survey of 100 retail executives by Retail TouchPoints. Of course, that also means the other half don’t have any plans, but the sheer number of retail stores with beacons is huge.

Smaller stores are another matter, at least when it comes to allocating their technology budget in the Internet of Things.

With less resource than major chains, about a third (35%) of independent small and mid-sized retailers globally plan to invest in data-supported marketing by the next year, according to Lightspeed. Only a third (34%) have some likelihood of introducing beacons at some point.

This is the time that businesses are investing in the Internet of Things. During and after that, the presumed payback phase arrives.

That’s also where IoT marketing kicks into high gear. At least for those who have been preparing.


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