As we start with 2021, it is customary to look at key industry predictions widely circulated by various analyst firms. Connected devices will continue to dominate many industries, with the Internet of Things (IoT) still at the forefront.
Consider that IoT Analytics has forecast that 5.5 billion connected IoT devices will be in use by 2025, a forecast recently revised to 30 billion. They indicated an annual growth of 4.6% and a market value of $1.4 billion by 2030.
To underscore IoT's importance in 2021, several trends will continue to gain momentum, from data-intense experiences used in self-driving cars - to smart homes and smart cities, connected health, remote monitoring, remote working, to the rise of artificial intelligence.
The above are just some of the trends that will dominate the IoT ecosystem in the years to come. IoT trends in 2021 will focus on three main areas:
Into the Looking Glass
Let us look more closely at the three areas that will fuel IoT's exponential growth in 2021 and beyond. The more things are connected, the greater the number of apps and services in the IoT app development ecosystem.
IoT technologies will be crucial for better customer service experience as they are used to meet basic needs. Many of these measures form a foundation and help companies focus on the most critical aspects, such as customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
Retailers will begin to explore location-based services and focused location data for consumers and employees. The idea is to use location information as a basis for customer service, not only in the store but also in other business areas.
AI in IoT will soon be worth billions in terms of the value to the IoT ecosystem.
Organisations are already adopting AI and augmented reality (AR), and this trend will continue. In 2021, we will see AI and IoT working together to make edge computing smarter than ever. Growing awareness of IoT as an integral part of the economic future gives us much to look forward to in 2021 and beyond.
Forrester Research predicts that while 5G will continue to be looked at as the start for IoT growth and development, especially around Smart Homes and Smart City environments, connectivity options will be diverse and not standardised. The IoT landscape will remain fragmented, with various types of connected devices, services, and applications abound. This fragmentation is forecast to continue for the global IoT market in 2021. Part of that is undoubtedly down to the hype, but part of it will be down to market developments.
Companies are becoming more dependent on IoT technologies as part of their business strategy for the next ten years.
According to a Forrester report, at least 80% of companies will develop IoT applications, including those that increase employee safety, improve resource efficiency, and solve security problems.
IoT will continue to gain ground as people and businesses become familiar with the technology and integrate it seamlessly into their everyday lives.
As the coronavirus pandemic is likely to keep many people at home, even in 2021; Businesses are learning to operate remotely with limited capacity to protect workers. Many are further limiting their capacity by reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.
Companies looking for solutions that would help them cut costs and improve processes to increase efficiency are now doubling their digital transformation to lose productivity. When a pandemic occurs, the ability to improve productivity and efficiency, especially in the supply chain, suffers. Many supply chain holes and weaknesses were exposed, and companies are being forced to accelerate their technology adoption.
Data generated by IoT devices and automated processes will help companies gain new insights into their business to drive innovation and improve efficiency. For instance, using connected equipment in manufacturing can help a company stay productive when working remotely.
Businesses are learning to operate remotely with limited capacity to protect workers. To ensure employee safety in the office, companies need to introduce tools that help them better track employee movements in and out of the office and track contacts when an employee or guest tests positive for Covid19.
IoT in the health sector
Networked health solutions are being developed to manage the disease and monitor health. Forrester expects this to be driven by wearable sensors that help patients track things like chronic disease and cancer, diabetes and heart conditions.
Contact restrictions have led to a rapid expansion of telemedicine capabilities that enable patients and doctors to be cared for at home. Technologies rarely used by doctors and other healthcare professionals are used to increase safety and operations for providers and patients at all times. There is also a need for portable devices that patients can use to allow medical staff to monitor their patients from anywhere.
The health industry will use these tools to help more people than ever before to get healthcare and to keep more at-risk patients out of hospital beds, create space, and expand healthcare to more remote areas.
Although the adoption of IoT business solutions is not expected to slow down in the near future, security must remain at the forefront of any IoT deployment strategy. IoT Security's growth is fueled by government regulations that require solution providers to use security through design when building IoT solutions.
Industry observers predict a significant increase in the number of IoT devices and applications in 2021 and beyond.
Juniper Research expects that the total number of IoT devices on the US market will triple to 46 billion in 2021.
A huge number that will continue to soar relentlessly and positively impact our lives and businesses, not only in terms of productivity but also the economy as a whole.
According to the IAB report by 2021, the IoT healthcare market will reach a $136 billion net worth. 2021, is here and we will continue to see momentum in the connected health sector via the use of wearables and virtual care, heralded by the pandemic.
Companies across all industries are accelerating IoT devices' adoption as they modernise their business processes to improve productivity and efficiency to meet the new norm caused by the pandemic. The rapid pace of implementation will continue as companies strive to automate, ensure their employees' safety, and improve the benefits of introducing new connected technologies.
IoT will help transform a wide range of industries through automation. New insights from these devices' data will help companies improve their processes and find new and innovative ways.
Predictions and forecasts in terms of numbers will never come close to the actual number of IoT-enabled and connected devices on the market. We know for sure that connected devices and services are here to stay, a trend that will continue for years to come.
Founder/CEO Apiro Data Ltd
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