IoT to generate massive data, help grow biz revenue

Internet of Things (IoT) will churn more than 20 trillion gigabytes of data by 2025, fueled by increasing broadband speeds, and is expected to generate new revenue for businesses.

Fueled by increasing broadband adoption and access speeds, Internet of Things (IoT) will churn more than 20 zettabytes, or 20 trillion gigabytes, of data by 2025.

Growing multi-device ownership also has been identified as a key driver of IoT and cloud adoption, according to research from Seagate Technology. The storage vendor said broadband speeds in the Asia-Pacific region were projected to be the fastest worldwide, quadrupling to 87Mbps in 10 years. Across the globe, broadband access speeds would average at 72Mbps.

At those speeds, a two-hour high-definition movie could be downloaded in 7 minutes, compared to about 28 minutes today, Seagate said.

The Asia-Pacific, however, was expected to see disparate adoption rates in 2025, with developed markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong each clocking 95 percent broadband penetration rate, while South Korea would hit 99 percent. In comparison, countries such as India and Indonesia would only see adoption rates of 10 percent or less.

According to Seagate, by 2025, more than 40 billion devices were expected to be web-connected and the bulk of IP traffic would be driven by non-PC devices. Machine-to-machine devices were projected to account for 64 percent of these connections, with smartphones contributing 26 percent, and tablets 5 percent. Feature phones would only account for 4 percent of these connections, and laptop PCs a paltry 1 percent.

In terms of verticals, Seagate said the automotive sector would prove to be the fastest-growing segment for IoT, pushing more than 3.5 billion device units in 2025, compared to just 200 million in 2014. The storage vendor pointed to devices such as connected onboard diagnostics and automated safety systems that were expected to become more pervasive.

Consumer IoT was expected to be the largest market segment, generating 13 billion devices by 2025, with growth fueled by increasing adoption of devices such as smart watches and activity trackers.

Some 11 million smart watches were sold last year, while activity trackers clocked at 32 million, according to Seagate. It further estimated that the overall wearables market would be worth US$10 billion next year, pushing 170 million units by 2017.

Sales of fitness wearables would triple to 210 million in 2020, from 70 million in 2013, and smart garments adoption would see a compound annual growth rate of 48 percent between 2015 and 2020.

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Driving revenue for businesses

Enterprises also are recognizing the potential of IoT to help generate revenue, according to a recent study by India's Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which polled 795 executives worldwide.

More than 80 percent of companies that invested in IoT saw increased revenue, the research found, with the average growth rate from such initiatives clocking at 15.6 percent. Some 9 percent generated 30 percent more revenue as a result of their IoT efforts, while market leaders in this space saw a higher revenue increase of 64 percent.

TCS added that 7 percent of organizations were planning to spend some US$500 million on IoT initiatives this year alone, with another 12 percent looking to invest US$100 million in this space. Some 3 percent said they had plans to pour in at least US$1 billion to support their IoT initiatives. Across the board, organizations expected their IoT budgets to see increases each year, with spending projected to climb 20 percent to hit US$103 million by 2018.

A popular use of IoT technologies was for tracking customers through mobile apps, with 47 percent of organizations tapping the devices for such uses. Some 50.8 percent turned to IoT to monitor the performance of their products.

While the deployment of IoT appeared to be stellar, organizations did point to some key challenges that were holding back further adoption. Corporate culture, for instance, proved to be especially challenging as businesses struggled to hone their employee's ability to change the way they thought about customer service, products, and processes.

In addition, organizations noted their challenge of convincing the leadership team about the potential of IoT and to invest time and resources in the technology.

Questions also were raised about the need to ensure security and reliability, as well as manage big data and data integration across the enterprise systems, especially as IoT technologies become more pervasive.

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