Cellular wireless Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) connections will increase nearly fourfold globally from 252 million in 2014 to 908 million in 2019, according to the latest worldwide market study by 451 Research.
This significant increase in active cellular IoT or M2M connections will be driven by a number of key factors. First, hardware and bandwidth costs have dropped to a point where nearly every enterprise can reap the benefits of virtualizing the physical world.
Second, cloud-based open source middleware software and data platforms are making it easier to securely generate insights from machine data at greater scale than ever before possible.
Last, the growing interest is generating awareness of the transformational potential of IoT or M2M in terms of return on investment, competitiveness and support of completely new business models.
"We continue to be bullish that ultimately the hype of IoT will be proven to be warranted back on business impact," said Brian Partridge, research vice president at 451 Research.
The building excitement about what is possible has generated a massive amount of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity to support position taking for the next decade of IoT-driven digital business transformation.
IoT and M2M Application Market Development
According to the 451 Research assessment, connected passenger vehicles and connected energy will pace the market in terms of connection volume, while emerging solutions such as 'pay as you drive' insurance will grow the fastest.
"Over the forecast period we expect that M2M and IoT solution suppliers will find fertile ground in vertical markets such as retail and government that will adopt this technology to enable strategic digitization strategies such as smart cities and the use of digital signage, mobile point of sale, and connected kiosks to drive the transformation from brick and mortar to click and mortar," added Partridge.
As part of the IoT research, 451 also released data from another related market study. Key findings showed that 39 percent of U.S. IT decision-makers at companies that use or plan to use wearable technologies will deploy solutions in the next six months.
Twenty-four percent plan to deploy in the next 12 months. In addition, 81 percent of U.S. IT decision-makers who say their company plans to deploy wearables in the next six months will favor smart watches.
451 said they now expect wearable technology to deliver a key interface and input into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In fact, wearables have the potential to become a primary interface for IIoT access.