There will be 5.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connections across businesses worldwide by 2020, up from 1.2 billion today, new research claims.
An ABI Research study -- commissioned by Verizon -- said the declining costs of sensors, connectivity and processing power have made the IoT a more viable proposition to a broader set of organisations.
The IoT is described as technologies that enable information from devices to flow to people so they can make decisions in real time to drive better outcomes.
It is underpinned by seamless communication between machines, where a device captures an event, transmits it over a network to an app, and translates it into meaningful information.
The report noted that all 14 car manufacturers -- which account for 80 per cent of the worldwide automotive market -- have a connected car strategy. Organisations are also expected to introduce more than 13 million health and fitness tracking devices into the workplace by 2018.
Still, widespread adoption of IoT is currently very low. Verizon -- which manages around 15 million IoT-enabled connections for businesses -- estimates that only 10 per cent of enterprises have deployed IoT technologies extensively.
This suggests that many organisations are in a pilot phase or are waiting for more insights from early adopters, the report said. This applies to the connected car with Verizon's telematics experts claiming that more than 600 million vehicles worldwide are not connected to a network.
Mark Bartolomeo, vice president IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon, said despite new use cases for IoT being created daily, the business case for enterprise adoption often gets overlooked.
"Within the past year, amid an improving economy, we've seen a number of new entrants starting to use IoT as a roadmap to improve their customers' experiences, accelerate growth and create new business models that are driving societal innovation."
Verizon expects that by 2025, smart cities capabilities will become a critical consideration for companies deciding whether to invest and open facilities, due to their impact on operating costs and talent availability.
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