Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Tapping M2M: The Internet of Things

Internet of things: $8.9 trillion market in 2020, 212 billion connected things

IDC tries to put a number on the Internet of things and while you may quibble over the forecast, the numbers are huge assuming multiple hurdles can be overcome.

The Internet of things and the technology ecosystem surrounding it are expected to be a $8.9 trillion market in 2020, according to IDC.

In a nutshell, the Internet of things is the product of sensors, technology and networking all coming together to allow buildings, infrastructure and other resources to swap information. Today, the Internet of things and machine-to-machine data falls under the big data umbrella with projects just beginning.

IDC said the installed base of things connected will be 212 billion by the end of 2020, including 30.1 billion connected autonomous things. Intelligent systems will be installed and collecting data by this point.

According to IDC, the Internet of things will change everything and be "a new construct in the information and communications technology world." IDC put the Internet of things technology and services spending at $4.8 trillion in 2012 and expects the market to be $8.9 trillion in 2020 and have a compound annual growth rate of 7.9 percent.

IDC added that it expects smart cities, cars and houses to drive growth along with the infrastructure that goes with them. However, IDC also noted that vendors and enterprise have numerous hurdles ahead such as a lack of standards, scalability and a young application ecosystem. Meanwhile, end customers aren't aware of the possibilities yet.

Here's tha anatomy of the Internet of things from a recent ZDNet special report on the topic. 

m2m-anatomy-620x465

Of course, there are caveats to IDC's predictions. The hurdles mentioned aren't insignificant. Wireless connectivity is everywhere, but the systems that will analyze the data need to be refined.

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