IoT Deployments to Contain 250k Devices by 2018

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The International M2M Council (IMC) has announced the results of an extensive study into the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications. Over 5,000 OEMs and enterprise users that deploy connected devices participated in what could be the largest quantitative study ever undertaken to understand technology buying patterns for the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine Communications. Just two of the surprising results from the study – conducted by Beecham Research for the IMC – show that buyers of IoT solutions in very diverse markets often share similar profiles, and that they plan large upswings in the number of connections they will deploy in each project.

“This is a pure distillation of IoT buyers – we call them our IMC Adopter Members. The study was designed to screen out responses from companies that sell IoT solutions,” says IMC executive director Keith Kreisher. Conducted by analyst firm Beecham Research, the study draws data from IMC members in six vertical markets (energy, logistics, healthcare, retail, building & construction, and smart cities), with 32% reporting from Europe, 24% from North America, and 15% from Asia. A report on the study, which includes the additional survey data, is available on the IMC website and on request from the IMC.

Portending well for IoT growth, the buyers polled expect over 14% of their IoT deployments to incorporate more than 250,000 connected devices in the three years’ time, a huge increase on current deployments. The study shows that less than 20% of the IoT projects currently underway involve the deployment of more than 10,000 connected devices, but buyers expect that to increase to 53% in three years.” The study also shows strong movement away from using IoT/M2M technology to simply reduce costs, and towards using these solutions to meet customer requirements and build new revenue streams,” says Kreisher.

A full 49% of respondents self-identified themselves as operational staff, with sales/marketing a distant second at 20%, followed by product design/development, and then IT. “The uniformity between disparate vertical markets was a true revelation,” says Kreisher, “the only market where operations didn’t dominate was retail, but you could say that sales are essentially operations in a retail environment.”