The global Internet of Things IoT market is expected to grow by more than $5 trillion over the next six years, according to IT research agency, International Data Corporation (IDC).
In its study, Worldwide and Regional Internet of Things 2014-2020 Forecast, IDC revealed its prediction that the global IoT market would hit $7.1 trillion by 2020, as people around the word — and particularly in developed nations — develop an affinity for full-time connectivity.
In 2013, the global IoT market stood at around $1.9 trillion, according to IDC's figures, with around 90 percent of all IoT devices being installed in the world's developed regions.
For IDC's senior vice president of enterprise infrastructure, consumer, network, telecom and sustainability research, Vernon Turner, the interest in IoT devices is not just stemming from the consumer end of the market, but is now also being driven by the business world, which is intrigued by the implications of the burgeoning technology.
"Businesses are taking the necessary steps to gain a deeper understanding of IoT and the overall value," said Turner. "Technology vendors are evolving their solutions in a supply-driven market that's edging toward becoming a more demand-driven market."
According to IDC's study, the worldwide IoT install base will see a compound annual growth rate of 17.5 percent from 2013 to 2020, and will encompass billions of connected devices in the world of what IDC calls "third platform" technologies.
"IoT solutions are at the heart of IDC's view of the third Platform and the four pillars — mobility, social business, big data/analytics, and cloud — resulting in millions of applications available to billions of end points," said Carrie MacGillivry, program vice president, mobile services, IoT, and network infrastructure at IDC.
"The worldwide IoT market is exploding, and IDC's research examines the full breadth of the IoT ecosystem, including intelligent and embedded systems shipments, connectivity services, infrastructure, purpose-built IoT platforms, applications, security, analytics, and professional services," she said.
Two of the world’s biggest technology players, Apple and Google are currently locked in a battle for IoT supremacy, with Google buying up manufacturers of internet-enabled technology for the home, and partnering with others.
In January, Google announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Nest Labs, a maker of connected smart home devices, such as smoke detectors and other home sensors, and last week there were rumours the company was eyeing off connected home security camera maker, Dropcam.
Meanwhile, Apple is moving to gain a hefty market share in the IoT industry, with the company introducing new home automation technology at its Worldwide Developers Conference in California this week, specifically its HomeKit network protocol, designed to allow people to control connected devices in their homes via apps.
Late last year, industry research firm Gartner revealed that it had estimated the worldwide IoT technology market would accrue a value of around $1.9 trillion by 2020 and encompass up to 26 billion individual devices.
However, the rapid rise of connected devices in the IoT landscape has raised security concerns from some quarters, with Palo Alto Networks' Australia and New Zealand regional director, Armando Dacal, suggesting last month that new strategies will be needed to combat the elevated security risks associated with the sheer volume of new devices coming online.
"Massive numbers of devices means a myriad of ways to target an organisation," said Dacal last month. "This will likely require the cooperation of enterprises, governments, and standards organisations before we can fully tap into the true potential of IoT."