Industrial IoT connections to total almost 37bn in 2025

By William Smith
A new report from Juniper Research has detailed explosive growth in the industrial IoT market, helping to fulfill the promise of smart factories...

A new report from Juniper Research has detailed explosive growth in the industrial IoT market, helping to fulfill the promise of smart factories.

While the internet of things may be increasingly commonplace in a consumer home setting, from smart speakers to connected heating and security systems, it is in an industrial setting that the technology is having the greatest impact.

The report found that there are currently 17.7 billion industrial IoT connections, with the overall growth rate over the next five years predicted to be over 200%, taking the number of connections to almost 37 billion. The largest sector is set to be smart manufacturing, making up 22 billion of the connections forecast for 2025.

The growth is being driven by the emergence of 5G and Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, which are making complex IoT communications more accessible and feasible to industry. Lower latencies and higher speeds enable the real-time transmission of data to allow machines to work autonomously together.

A factory location represents an ideal use case for 5G, with a local, private network overcoming the challenges the technology faces in terms of shorter range caused by higher frequencies.

It’s not all plain sailing, however, with the report’s author Scarlett Woodford saying: “Manufacturers must exercise caution when implementing IoT technology; resisting the temptation to introduce connectivity to all aspects of operations. Instead, manufacturers must focus on the collection of data on the most valuable areas to drive efficiency gains.”

The importance of data collection led to another of the report’s findings: that 80% of Industrial IoT’s market value will come from software spend by 2025, totalling $216bn. Solutions include machine learning-powered data analysis and software to identify network vulnerabilities. The latter is increasingly important in a world where cybersecurity measures are not quite keeping step with advances in IoT. 

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