IoT Devices to Almost Triple by 2020, to 38 Billion

Devices connected to the Web --the marketplace of IoT technology -- will number 38.5 billion in 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015, Juniper projected.

iot and juniper

The rise and rise of Internet of Things (IoT) technology continue unabated, as a report from Juniper Research indicates.

Devices connected to the Web—the marketplace of IoT technology -- will number 38.5 billion in 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015, a rise of more than 285 percent, according to Juniper’s report titled The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2015-2020.

While smart home-based applications are grabbing the attention of the media and consumers, the report notes it is the industrial and public services sector, such as retail, agriculture, smart buildings and smart grid applications that will form the majority of the device base, due in no small part to a much stronger business case for these types of applications.

Tire manufacturer Michelin and tractor maker John Deere, as the report points out, have successfully transitioned their businesses towards being service based companies through the use of IoT, as opposed to their previous incarnations as product vendors.

"Michelin has moved from a transactional business relationship towards becoming a service provider," research author Steffen Sorrell told eWEEK. "Where the company just used to sell tires, now it provides services on top of that – monitoring a truck fleet’s tire health through a combination of physical inspection and digital analytics, offering a pay by the mile scheme, and deploying sensors in trucks to monitor driver performance and--through analyzing digital data--offering guidance on how truck fleets can save fuel."

Sorrell noted John Deere has done something similar, as the tractor is now connected and can provide real-time analysis of machinery, or even the soil to the farmer.

"In both cases, the relationship with the customer is now ongoing, rather than simply when the tires or tractor need replacing," he explained.

The report found that while the number of connected devices already exceeds the number of humans on the planet by over 2 times, for most enterprises, simply connecting their systems and devices remains the first priority.

"Resolving the issue of standards is a difficult one and is hampered in part due to the very potential that the IoT promises, as many stakeholders have a business interest in the standards they are supporting, so conflicts naturally arise," Sorrell said. "However, there are certainly signs that this attitude is slowly changing; silicon vendors know that the IoT be will powered by multiple vendors so are changing their software platforms to accommodate this, while standards bodies are looking at more collaborative approaches."