Gartner: 8.4 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2017

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Most IoT devices are used by consumers, but by 2020 businesses will see more than 7 billion connected devices.

A new report by Gartner is making IoT service providers happy. The report predicts that businesses will be the top IoT spenders this year. They’ll represent 57 percent of overall IoT spending, a total of $964 billion. That’s a $177 billion increase from 2016.

“IoT services are central to the rise in IoT devices,” said Denise Rueb, research director at Gartner.

“Services are dominated by the professional IoT-operational technology category in which providers assist businesses in designing, implementing and operating IoT systems,” added Ms. Rueb. “However, connectivity services and consumer services will grow at a faster pace. Consumer IoT services are newer and growing off a small base. Similarly, connectivity services are growing robustly as costs drop, and new applications emerge.”

The report also predicts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use globally in 2017, a 31 percent increase from last year. That total will reach nearly 20.5 billion by 2020. Total endpoint and services spending will reach nearly $2 trillion by the end of the year.

China, North America and Western Europe lead the pack when it comes to using connected things. Together they represent 67 percent of the IoT installed base in 2017. Consumers are still the largest users of IoT devices, owning a total of 5.2 billion units, a total of 63 percent of the overall apps in use. Businesses are on track to employing roughly 3.2 billion devices by 2020. Connected cars, smart TVs and digital streaming devices are the most popular consumer devices while smart meters and security cameras are the favorites of businesses.

Other connected devices driving the use of IoT devices in businesses for 2017 are manufacturing field devices, process sensors for electrical plants. and real-time location devices for healthcare, for a total of 1.6 billion units deployed. In 2018, the report says, smart building devices and other cross-industry products are predicted to take the lead. By 2020 these cross-industry devices will reach 4.4 billion units while industry specific devices will reach 3.2 billion.

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Finding business value in IoT services

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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